BRAZZAVILLE, September 15- Malkia Strikers are due to return home Wednesday evening after dishing out cold revenge to Cameroon in the women’s volleyball final at the ongoing African Games in Congo, Brazzaville.
It was the third gold for Kenya at the quadrennial Pan African event after Clement Kemboi clocked 8:20.31 for the men 3000m steeplechase title and Margaret Chelimo led the clean sweep in the women 5000m, scaling the middle step of the podium in 15:30.15.
Having been stunned 3-2 by Cameroon in the group stages where Kenya surrendered a 2-0 lead, retribution was high on Paul Gitau and his girls when they stepped to the court to vie for the top medal.
It did not start according to plan after Cameroon breezed through the opening set 15-25 but that served only to invigorate the African champions who took the next three unanswered, 25-14, 25-15 and 25-19 to be crowned the champions.
That was a marked improvement on their fourth finish in Maputo four years ago at Henry Elende Hall in Brazzaville, Congo on Monday with the team expected to land back at 6pm local time (+3GMT).
Malkia played this tournament with the second side, as the first team was involved in the FIVB World Cup, but they could remain as African queens after they extracted all the power to win the final.
Egypt claimed the Bronze medal after beating Seychelles 3-0 (25-17, 25-6, 25-15) in the third place match.
Cameroon started the match as the better side using the spikes of Nana Tchoudjang and Theorine Aboa and succeeded to lead steadily until they won the first set 25-15.
The second set showed completely different picture as the Kenyans came back aggressively with their better reception and digging and had a wide lead 8-3 and 16-7 in the Technical Time Outs before they deployed their solid block to stop Cameroon until they won the set 25-14 to draw 1-1.
The Kenyan team played highly motivated in the third set as they maintained their lead throughout of the set with the quick attacks led by Edith Mukuvilani and Joan Chelegat.
Cameroon coach started to make substitutions which reflected negatively to the team as Kenya went on to bag win the set 25-15 for 2-1. It was easier for the Kenyan through their blockers to continue leading in the fourth to seal the match 3-1.
Leonida Kasaya led the scoring with 25 points as Malkia added more continental silverware to underline their supremacy.
On the track, the first 1-2-3 of the track and field programme was achieved later Monday when Chelimo led countrywomen Rosemary Wanjiru (15:30.18) and Alice Aprot (15:31.82) across the line in the 5000m for the podium shut out.
Kemboi opened Kenya’s golden account over the weekend in the men water and barriers race by leading compatriot Hillary Kemboi (8:22.96) to the 1-2.