Beach volleyball teams chase Tokyo slots

The national beach volleyball teams depart Friday night for Morocco ahead of the African Beach Volleyball Olympic Games qualifiers set for next week.

Head coach Sammy Mulinge says both teams-men and women-are ready to rumble as they seek to clinch the two respective Olympic Games slots reserved for Africa at the qualifiers due on June 21 to 28 in Morocco’s southern Atlantic coast city, Agadir.

The travelling party will leave the country at 23:00hours aboard Air France and upon arrival in Morocco they will undergo mandatory Covid-19 tests on Saturday.

“We’re now set and the two teams know what is ahead of us in Morocco. We’re going there to get the two slots and participate in the Olympics for the first time,” Mulinge told Citizen Digital on Thursday after breaking the two-week camp in Flamingo Beach in Mombasa.

The four-player teams each leave the country with the surging weight of expectation on their shoulders after failing to qualify for the Summer Games in the previous outings.

Men’s captain Ibrahim Oduor urged his side to be cautiously optimistic since their opponents have also prepared well to clinch the single ticket for the Games primed for July 23 in Tokyo.

“All the teams have prepared well and we’re aware of the competition which will be there but we will fight to the end to ensure we are going to Japan,” said Odour.

In the men’s team, Kenya Ports Authority’s attacker Enock Mogeni will partner with Brian Melly of GSU in one of the two pairs with the other pair consisting of James Mwaniki and captain Oduor.

The men’s team will battle for the top two slots to qualify for the final round against Botswana, Gambia, Tunisia, Congo Brazaville, South Africa,Cape Verde, Morocco and Tanzania.

Others are Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritius, Sudan, South Sudan,Togo, Sierra Leone, Niger, Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

Bannered by seasoned Gaudencia Makokha and Brackcides Agala, the women’s team will have its hands full against powerhouse Tunis and Morocco-among other opponents. Kenya Prisons’ Yvonne Wavinya will pair with Phoscah Kasisi in the other formation.

Other Kenya’s women opponents are Gambia, Ivory Coast, Zambia, Ghana, Sudan, South Sudan, South Africa, Sierra Leonne, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Mauritius and Niger.

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