Life is a beach for volleyball duo Brackcides and Makokha

Brackcides Agala in action in Mombasa. [Omondi Onyango, Standard]

Olympians Gaudencia Makokha and Brackcides Agala will once again do duty for the national women beach volleyball team in the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, UK.

The duo was picked for the international assignment as sit-in captain Naomi Too and former captain Phoscah Kasisi were dropped from the traveling party.

While naming her team yesterday, coach Salome Wanjala said all the four players who have been in camp in Mombasa were equally good for the final selection.

"My wish was to have the four players compete in Birmingham, but we were only allocated two slots for players," said Wanjala.

The team concluded its training sessions in Mombasa yesterday and left for Nairobi to prepare for it's Monday departure.

"We were in a bubble camp where our concentration was centred on services and blocks. As a coach, the girls are prepared for the Club Games," said the former international and KCB player.

Kenya is in pool A with reigning champions Canada, New Zealand, and Ghana.

Kenya will be making her first appearance in the games and will play their matches at Smithfield, in Birmingham, UK from July 28 to August 8.

The Club Games have attracted 12 nations. Makokha, who is the team captain and Agala, teamed up to participate in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games last year in Japan and last month's 2022 World Championships in Rome, Italy.

In 2019, Makokha and Too won silver medal at the All African Games in Rabat, Morocco.

Wanjala said Makokha and Agala have gelled well after participating in the two major competitions and a lot is expected of them.

"Makokha and Agala have been consistent as they played together at high level championships and their experience and exposure will be an added advantage to us," she said.

Meanwhile, nine-time African women volleyball champions Malkia Strikers have taken intensified their training sessions in Brazil ahead of the World Championship. The national team played two build-up matches against Brazil's national under 20 team.

The Kenyan girls, under the tutelage of Paul Bitok, left their Sao Paulo base where they have been training for the past three weeks, to Saquarema town, which is about 70km East of the capital city Rio de Janeiro.

Yesterday morning, Malkia Strikers registered their first victory in their Brazilian trip when they beat a superliga B side Sesi Sorocaba 3-0 (28-26, 25-20, 25-15).

"Despite recording great improvement in blocks and services, we are weak on our services, quick attacks, back court defence and ball transition," said the coach.

Malkia are in Brazil courtesy of FIVB’s Empowerment Programme to prepare for the World Championships, which will be jointly hosted by Netherlands and Poland from September 23 to October 15.