Beach volleyball teams gearing up for continental event

Kenya's beach volleyball player Gaudencia Makokha in action at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. [File]

Excitement has built up as national women and men beach Volleyball teams camp in Mombasa for the Africa

Zone V Paris Olympic qualifiers are slated for next week in Mombasa.

The women's team, which is also the reigning African champions is under former international Salome Wanjala while Patrick Owino is in charge of the men's team.

The teams have camped at the venue of the competition, Flamingo Beach Hotel, and the two coaches are currently working on endurance to ensure the players are physically fit for the high-level competition.

The top three countries in the zonal qualifiers of the event set for December 20-23 will qualify for next year’s CAVB- African Volleyball Confederation Continental Cup whose winner will get the sole ticket to the Paris Olympics.

Coach Wanjala in an interview said the training is going well.

"I have six players in camp and we are optimistic of qualifying for the final stage and eventually for the Olympic Games," said Wanjala.

In the last edition of the qualifiers held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in 2020, the Kenya and Rwanda women's teams qualified to the next stage.

The Kenyan pair of Brackcides Agala and Gaudencia Makokha qualified for the Tokyo Games in 2021 after defeating Nigeria 2-1 at the Africa Continental Cup in Agadir, Morocco.

The men's team lost to Mozambique thus failing to make it to the Tokyo games.

"The qualifiers will not be a smooth walk as all the teams are good but we will give our best," added Wanjala.

The coach has named Sharleen Sembeli and Mariam Musa both from KCB who will be making their debut in beach volleyball at the national team.

Other new faces are international Pamela Masaisai of Kenya Prisons and DCI's Mercy Iminza.

Olympian and captain Gaudencia Makokha and Kenya Prison’s Yvonne Wavinya have also maintained their status in the team as the most experienced pair with international exposure.

Zone V is the biggest in Africa and it comprises 12 countries from Egypt to Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi.

However, so far Egypt, Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan and the host Kenya have confirmed their participation.

For the men's side, coach Owino and his team manager Ibrahim Oduor have blended their team with both experienced and young blood. 

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