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Malkia stage comeback to retain Africa Games title

Malkia Strikers beat Cameroon 3-1 in Africa Games to avenge Africa Championship defeat. Photo/COURTESY

RABAT, Morocco, Aug 30 – Malkia Strikers produced an amazing comeback twice to edge out Cameroon 3-1 and successfully retain the Africa Games title in Rabat, Morocco, handing Kenya final gold in the games.

Kenya had lost the first set 25-12 and they recovered in the second set where they won 25-15.

It is in the third and fourth set where they had to pull a dramatic comeback that left the crowd amazed after closing in  a gap of six points twice to win 26-24 and 25-22.

Stand in  coach Paul Bitot was happy with the changes that he made, which saved the team the blushes.

“The match was difficult, remember we lost the first set, I thank the players for fighting from the first set to the end. We changed few players where I brought on Chepchumba for Makuto and it really worked fir us. Cameroon were confident of beating us because they did it two month ago, but it worked on our favour,” Bitok, who is hoping the Kenya Volleyball Federation confirms him to the post said.

Kenya’s veteran setter Jane Wanja served off the crunch match to see the Malkia Strikers be the first to register in the score board, but Cameroon were too good in blocks to see the African champions crawl back and take the lead.

With head coach Paul Bitok starting attacker Triza Atuka and Sharon Chumba in the bench, Cameroon were too strong to take the first set 25-12.

However, Kenya returned stronger in the second set as they recovered to give Cameroon a run for their money.

The introduction of Atuka and Chumba spiced up the Kenyan tempo as they pushed Cameroon to their side to take the lead to the end as Cameroon played a catch up game.

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Experienced Mercy Moim played a key role in stabilising the Malkia’s display with her perfect serves that handed Kenya a 25-15 victory in the second set to take the tally to 1-1.

Kenya produced an amazing comeback to win the third set 26-24 and push the fourth set.

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