Kenya women's national volleyball team
The Kenya women's national volleyball team, the Malkia Strikers, represents Kenya in international volleyball competitions. Kenya has dominated the African continent since the 1990s, winning the Women's African Volleyball Championship a record nine times. They have qualified three times for the Olympics; in 2000, 2004 and for the postponed 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
|Association||Kenya Volleyball Federation|
|Head coach||Paul Bitok|
|FIVB ranking||24 (as of 12 June 2021)|
|Appearances||3 (First in 2000)|
|Best result||11th (2000, 2004)|
|Appearances||6 (First in 1994)|
|Best result||13th place (1994, 1998)|
Women were not invited to play volleyball at the All-Africa Games until 1978. Those games were in Algiers, Algeria and Kenya did not send a team. The team was there in 1991 for the Volleyball at the 1991 All-Africa Games where they were first. They were also in Cairo when eight teams were present for the 1991 Women's African Volleyball Championship and Kenya again took the gold medal.
In 2006 the team's coach was the Japanese coach Sadatoshi Sugawara who was assisted by Paul Bitok. They contested the FIVB World Championships in Japan although the team was said to lack professional players as the chosen team were students or players who were based in Japan.
In 2007 their coach Sammy Kirongo led them to a seventh Women's African Volleyball Championship victory. That year's championships was in Nairobi and the final was against Algeria. The Kenyan team included Brackcides Agala, Janet Wanja, Dorcas Ndasaba and Catherine Wanjiru. Mildred Odwako was said to be the "best digger" and Janet Wanja was the "best setter". Dorcas Ndasaba was judged "best player" after she gained the final point to deliver victory in straight sets.
In 2015 Brackcides Agala was the captain of the team and Janet Wanja assisted her. The team announced that they refused to play for the 2015 FIVB World Grand Prix in Canberra after several victories. The players were annoyed that they had not been paid money that had been promised by the Kenya Volleyball Federation. The boycott was successful and the team played and won against Peru. However, the KVF were not pleased and when the team's were announced for the 2016 Summer Olympics neither Khadambi or her assistant Janet Wanja were asked to the qualifying matches and the team failed to qualify.
In 2020, under the new head coach of Paul Bitok, Kenya's women's volleyball team won the gold medal at the African Games and they qualified for the postponed 2020 Summer Olympics which was the first time in sixteen years.
Kenya women's volleyball team qualified for the postponed 2020 Summer Olympics by winning the pool round with three match points and securing an outright berth at the African Olympic Qualification Tournament in Yaoundé, Cameroon, marking the nation's return to the Olympics for the first time since Athens 2004.
The chosen players names were revealed on 26 June 2021. The Olympic team included the veteran Mercy Moim as captain and Jane Wacu also made the team, but former players Violet Makuto and Elizabeth Wanyama were not included. Kenya's "Most Valued Player" Brackcides Agala was included in the beach volleyball team. The team received additional coaching from six Brazilian coaches who visited Kenya and the team was then sent to Nairobi where they received additional coaching from the Brazilian coach Luizomar de Moura. The other teams in their group in Tokyo are the home team Japan, Serbia, Brazil, Korea and the Dominican Republic.
The team set off from Kenya for the Olympics in Tokyo in three batches to try and minimise the chances of being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The team's captain Mercy Moim was chosen to be one of Kenya's flagbearers at the Olympics opening ceremony (Moim was the second woman to be given this honour following archer Shazad Anwar in 2016).
Their opening match was on 25 July in Tokyo against Japan. Surprisingly Paul Bitok was not on the match's touchline, but Brazilian coach Luizomar de Moura was announced as the head coach. He spoke to the press via the team manager. The team lost their first match against Japan in straight sets.
2020 Olympic squadEdit
Squad as announced in June 2021.
FIVB World Grand PrixEdit
Women's African Volleyball ChampionshipEdit
2021 Beach volleyball Olympic teamEdit
Kenya also has a women's national beach volleyball team. The team that gained Kenya qualification for the postponed 2020 Summer Olympics was Yvonne Wavinya, Brackcides Agala, Phosca Kasisi and Gaudencia Makokha. They qualified when they won at the African Continental Cup Finals in Morocco in 2021. They gained victory in a final against the Nigeria women's national volleyball team. Wavinga and Kasisi beat Tochukwu Nnoruga and Albertina Francis 2-0 while Agala and Makokha beat the other Nigerian pair of Francisca Ikhiede and Amara Uchechukwu 2-1.
Kenya's beach volleyballers were in the four Continental Cup winners with Argentina, Cuba and China. Kenya has never had a beach volleyball team at the Olympics and they are only the fourth African country to send a team. The four players who qualified will make up Kenya's Olympic beach volleyball team chosen by the coach Sammy Mulinge. They will compete initially with the teams from Brazil, the US and Latvia in pool D at the postponed 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The volleyballers stayed in Mombasa for training before flying to Tokyo. They were the African champions, but the pandemic meant that many of their future opponents had been able to play more matches.
2021 Sitting Volleyball Paralympic teamEdit
- 1991 World Cup squad
- 1994 World Championship squad
- 1998 World Championship squad
- 2000 Summer Olympic squad
- 2002 World Championship squad
- 2004 Summer Olympic squad
- 2007 World Cup squad
- 2011 World Cup squad
- 2015 World Cup squad
- 2018 World Championship squad
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