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Kenya bids for Rio 2016 volley qualifiers

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Malkia Strikers celebrate their African Games women's volleyball victory in Congo Brazzaville on Monday, September 14, 2015. PHOTO/Facebook/Kenya Volleyball Page

Malkia Strikers celebrate their African Games women’s volleyball victory in Congo Brazzaville on Monday, September 14, 2015. PHOTO/Facebook/Kenya Volleyball Page

NAIROBI, September 17 – Kenya has formally bid to host the men’s zonal and women’s continental volleyball qualifiers for the 2016 Olympics Games in Rio-de-Janeiro, Brazil.

Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) boss, Waithaka Kioni confirmed the development when receiving the victorious African Games team that won gold in Congo Brazzaville for the first time since 1999.

The Confederation of African Volleyball vice-president declared they will constitute a formidable squad comprised of senior and under-23 team players for the Olympics qualifiers that get underway in February next year.

“We will continue conquering and our next big assignment is to prepare for Olympics qualifiers. We have put the bid to host the Zonal phase which will take place between November and December then the continental set for January and February. We hope our bids will be successful.

“The coach will determine the best combination of both teams to ensure we come up with a strong squad that will take us to the Olympics but are grateful with the All Africa Games team’s performance,” the long serving, KVF chairman stated.

The federation was forced to send the Malkia Strikers to FIVB Women’s World Cup while their juniors went to African Games after dates of both international assignments clashed.

The squad that beat Cameroon 3-1 (15-25, 25-14, 25-15, 25-19)  to be crowned champions for the next four years will compete with their seniors for inclusion in the Olympics squad.

Head coach, Paul Gitau urged KVF to sustain the team for future  international assignments.

“Since we started training in Kasarani a month ago, nobody had faith in us but the team surprised many by emerging winners in style since they didn’t struggle . We lost only one match and won six which is very good for a young team. They are great players and I salute them.

“I don’t count on big names because I believe you can coach anybody and she becomes a champion just as we have done in African Games, they are now African queens. All what KVF can do is to follow up on them and take the squad to the next level,” Gitau, who also led the class of 1999 to Gold, underlined.

The team did well to better 2011 Maputo bronze performance after revenging against Cameroon but skipper, Loise Chepkosgei conceded they had to play their hearts out after edging out Egypt 3-2 (25-21, 24-26, 24-26, 25-14, 15-11) in the semi-finals.

“I’m so happy in my first time as a captain we were lucky to win. Experience was good but teams were tough especially Cameroon, Algeria and Egypt but we were there to play our best.

“Against Cameroon, they beat us in the pool but we changed our game plan when we met in the final. We served hard and they were unable to receive and that’s why they were giving out balls but we had good blocks,” the skipper underscored.

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