Malkia Strikers miss out on direct Olympics ticket

Team lost 3-2 to Egypt in the semi-finals of the African Olympics qualifiers.

Thursday February 18 2016

The Kenya women's national volleyball team players celebrate after beating Tunisia during the Women’s African Olympic Qualifiers in Yaoundé, Cameroon on February 13, 2016. The team failed to get a direct ticket for the global games after losing 3-2 to Egypt in the semi-finals of the African Olympics qualifiers that ended this week. PHOTO | COURTESY

The Kenya women's national volleyball team players celebrate after beating Tunisia during the Women’s African Olympic Qualifiers in Yaoundé, Cameroon on February 13, 2016. The team failed to get a direct ticket for the global games after losing 3-2 to Egypt in the semi-finals of the African Olympics qualifiers that ended this week. PHOTO | COURTESY  

By CELLESTINE OLILO
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Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) will have a special general meeting to decide whether or not Kenya will send the national women’s team to a second round of qualification for the Rio Olympics.

The national team failed to get a direct ticket for the global games after losing 3-2 to Egypt in the semi-finals of the African Olympics qualifiers that ended this week in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

Hosts Cameroon clinched the sole ticket to Rio, Brazil after upsetting Egypt 3-2 in the finals played on Tuesday evening.

KVF chairman Waithaka Kioni told Daily Nation Sport that the federation is not yet decided on whether or not to send the team to the second qualification outing scheduled for Japan in late March.

“It is not a decision that we can make on impulse. The games may be held in Puerto Rico or Japan and a lot of resources must be available if the team is to travel.

I am meeting the executives next week so that we can assess the possibilities of giving the team a second chance.

Whether we qualify or not however, Kenya remains the best team in East Africa.

POOR OFFICIATING

Poor officiating is the only reason we failed to get the direct ticket and not that the team is missing some key players,” Kioni said in reference to former captain Bracksides Agala and setter Janet Wanja who were omitted from the squad.

The Kenyan team won both group games against Cameroon and Tunisia, but faltered in the semi-finals against arch rivals Egypt where they lost 3-2 in a pulsating match.

They later bounced back to record a 3-0 win over Algeria in the third place playoffs on Tuesday to clinch bronze, while hosts Cameroon overpowered Egypt 3-2 to finish top of the pile and get the coveted Olympic ticket.

The second round of Olympic qualifiers is set to be a tough outing considering the fact that they will be coming up against stiffer global opposition.

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