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Stage set for Malkia Strikers Olympics residential camp

VOLLEYBALL AND HANDBALL By Stephen Rutto | March 22nd 2021
From left: Janet Wanja, Noel Nasimiyu and Brackcides Khadambi celebrate after winning 2018 FIVB World championship qualifiers women match at Kasarani stadium Gymnasium on July 30, 2017. Kenya team won 3-0. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

National women’s volleyball team, Malkia Strikers will report to a residential training camp at Kenyatta University today, as race to Tokyo Olympic Games gathers pace.

Head coach Paul Bitok said he is focused on giving their best show at the Olympic Games scheduled for July and August.

The tactician said the Kenyan squad is trooping to a residential camp at KU in readiness for a one-month rigorous training at Kasarani Stadium.

Bitok said the residential training marks the beginning of a series of preparations that include foreign trips and international friendly matches.

“It will be the first time Kenya is training four months ahead of a global competition and this will give us more confidence in the event,” Bitok said.

The Kenya Volleyball Federation and African Volleyball Federation has secured a sponsor for the Kenyan team.

“Four coaches from Brazil will be joining the team for a 15-day training plan at KU. A member from Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) is expected to assess the team’s preparedness,” he said.

Bitok, who rejoined Malkia Strikers as head coach in 2019, said the team will leave for Brazil on May 1, where they will train for one month.

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Malkia Strikers' Lincy Jeruto training at Kasarani Stadium. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

He said more than eight coaches have been lined up to train the Kenyan squad in the Brazilian tour.

Malkia Strikers were crowned African Champions after beating hosts Cameroon 3-2 in August 2019 thus qualifying for the Olympics.

“FIVB is serious with the team. The federation doesn’t want Africa to just participate in the Summer Games, but wants the continent to win in Tokyo,” Bitok said.

The world volleyball federation has lined up programmes including weight lifting, international friendly matches and international training, according to Bitok.

The coach said that after May 30, Malkia strikers will return to Kenya where the players will be allowed to visit their families for five days before returning to the bubble camp in KU for five days.

After the five days of training in Kasarani, the team will leave for Turkey mid-June where they will embark on more preparations.

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