Malkia Strikers seal return to Olympic Games
The national women’s volleyball team Malkia Strikers crushed Nigeria 3-0 (25-15, 25-21, 25-12) in their final Tokyo 2020 Olympics qualifying match to ensure they finished top and end their 16-year absence from the Summer Games.
Kenya needed a win against Nigeria to clinch the sole ticket reserved for African countries and they did so emphatically, blowing out the West Africans at the Paposy Arena in Yaoundé on Thursday evening.
Paul Bitok’s charges ended their campaign with a one-point advantage over arch-rivals Cameroon who came second on 10, with Tuesday night’s 3-2 defeat at the hands of the Kenyans proving costly for the hosts.
Malkia Strikers, who missed the previous edition in Rio at the expense of Cameroon, thus return to the Olympics after three straight unsuccessful attempts.
The nine-time African champions last featured at the 2000 Sydney and the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and now join Kenya Sevens and Kenya Lionesses as the only team sports that will represent Kenya at Tokyo 2020.
Botswana, Egypt, Cameroon and Nigeria were the African countries in contention for the Olympic ticket.
Following the victory, #MalkiaStrikers quickly shot top as the trending topic on micro-blogging site Twitter as Kenyans hailed the African queens for the victory.
Well done #MalkiaStrikers on the qualification for the 2020 Olympics games in Tokyo after beating Nigeria in the final women's volleyball qualifying match. You have shown us that with determination and dedication everything is possible. Congratulations. pic.twitter.com/a5a3uHtuM2
— Mike Sonko (@MikeSonko) January 9, 2020
Kenya's Malkia Strikers secure Tokyo 2020 Olympics ticket after a 16-year wait after crushing Nigeria 3-0 in final qualifying match in Cameroon. pic.twitter.com/DIb0N3Y3ZP
— Stanley Mutinda (@MutindaStano) January 9, 2020
— Peter Aming'a (@Peter_aminga) January 9, 2020