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We will retain our title, say Malkia Strikers

Malkia Strikers celebrating

RABAT, Morocco, Aug 30 – After finding a formula to crack the hard nut of Cameroon, Malkia Strikers have set their sights on confirming the win when the two sides clash once again in the Africa Games women’s volleyball final in Rabat, Morocco on Friday evening.

Malkia Strikers will be out to defend the title they last clinched in 2015 coincidentally in a match they downed Cameroon 3-1 to be crowned champions.

However, the African Queens find a different script four years later as they face a Cameroon side that are the reigning Africa champions and having tasted defeat of the West Africans in the last two years.

Malkia Strikers middle blocker Triza Atuka whispers a tactical point to setter Jane Wacu during their match against Puerto Rico in the FIVB World Championships at the Hamamatsu Indoor Arena on October 1, 2018. PHOTO/FIVB

Things have also changed in the Kenyan side with the new head coach experienced Paul Bitok coming onboard and starting with a bang, beating Cameroon 3-1 in the opener of the Africa Games in a tight contest.

In this match, Malkia won 25-22 in the first set, 25-21 in the second set, lost 16-25 before sealing it with a 25-17 victory.

This win has made Bitok believe they will be able to repeat the fete on Friday and successfully defend the title.

“Players have been in good morale since we started and I believe that we maintain the same rate, team work, confidence, determination, we continue focusing and having good concentration we are going to make it,” Bitok stated.

High fives before the match.PHOTO/FILE

Skipper Mercy Moim expressed her confidence, saying; “The team is in high spirit, we are going to give it or all because God is with us and we are going to take victory home,” experienced winger spiker asserted.

Triza Atuka, one of the seasoned players who has also captained the team before, said the team expects nothing but a gold medal.

“We expect nothing except victory because it is the same team we have been playing with, the first encounter we won and we don’t expect them to change much but we have to be cautious,” Atuka urged her players.

The match will serve off at 8pm Kenyan time as Malkia Strikers seek to become the first team sport in the 2019 Africa Games to hand Kenya gold.

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The other four gold medals come from individual sport of athletics to see Kenya occupy 10th place, just one place above rivals Ethiopia with a total of 18 medals; 4 Gold, 6 Silver and 8 Bronze.

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