Bitok vows rigorous squad selection process for Olympic-bound Malkia Strikers

The national women’s volleyball team head coach Paul Bitok believes there are plenty of opportunities for his players to push their claims to go to the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Speaking Wednesday after he trimmed his 20-person squad to 16, ahead of the team’s departure for the FIVB-organised training camp in Brazil, Bitok said the final squad of 12 will be picked based on merit.

Bitok warned he will not be swayed by big names urging his players to utilise the opportunities extended to the team by the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) and the world volleyball governing body so they may need to pull on a national team shirt in Japan.

“With the support we’re getting towards our preparations it’s high time also for the players to know that a lot will be expected from them. I want to fly to Japan with the best squad and I will only be guided by merit when announcing my final squad.

“Malkia Strikers will not just make up the numbers this time hence the reason we’re leaving nothing to chance in our preparations,” said Bitok.

Long-serving middle blocker Joan Jelagat, KCB’s left attacker Jemima Siang’u, Centre player Carolyne Sirengo and libero Josephine Wafula of DCI were dropped from the camp currently training at Kasarani under a bio-secure bubble ahead of the Summer Games.

Malkia Strikers will leave for Brazil on May 1 where friendly matches with local clubs are line-up.

The nine-time African champions will fly back home in mid June where Bitok will name his final squad of 12 players before departing for Kurume City, Japan for the final touches and acclimatization then proceed to Tokyo.

Malkia Strikers Brazil squad:

Setters: Jane Wacu, Joy Lusenaka and Emmaculate Nekesa

Right attackers: Violet Makuto, Sharon Chepchumba and Emmaculate Chemtai

Middle blockers: Edith Wisa ,Gladys Ekaru  and Lorrine Chebet

Left attackers: Mercy Moim (captain),Noel Murambi, Leonida Kasaya, Pamela Adhiambo and Pamela Masaisai

Liberos: Elizabeth Wanyama and Agripina Kundu

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