Kenya women’s beach volleyball team upbeat about making maiden Olympics appearance
Kenya women’s national beach volleyball team coach Sammy Mulinge has exuded confidence that his charges will make history by qualifying for the Olympics for the first time.
Mulinge, who guided the team past the zonal qualifiers in Tanzania last month, made the remarks at Flamingo Beach Hotel in Mombasa yesterday where the team is pitching camp ahead of the second round of the Africa women’s beach volleyball Olympic qualifiers in Abuja, Nigeria.
The tactician believes his players are responding well after 12 days in training with no hitches. Out of the six players in camp, two will be dropped before the final team departs for Nigeria.
“The players are responding well. We have high hopes because we have no injuries. My team is intact and we thank the hotel for offering hospitality services to us,” said Mulinge.
In the second round that kicks off on March 5 in Nigeria, Kenya is grouped alongside hosts Nigeria, Cape Verde, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). All teams will face one another in a round-robbin format.
“We know Nigeria are the hosts and are well prepared to showcase their strength but we are not going to leave anything to chance. It will be a do-or-die competition for us and we know we will secure that slot,” he added.
During the qualifiers held at Mbalamwezi beach in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Kenya finished second behind Rwanda with 19 points to qualify for the next round and Mulinge believes they have gained enough experience.
Team Kenya is composed of captain Phosca Kasisi, former Malkia Strikers captain Brackcides Agala, Gaudencia Makokha and Yvonne Wavinya.
Captain Kasisi said they will not underrate any opponent as all teams have been performing well.
“We cannot underrate any team that has reached this level. We know it will be a tough competition but we are more confident that with the support from Kenyans, we will emerge tops,” Kasisi told People Sport yesterday.
The skipper also thanked the Ministry of Sports for supporting the team’s training while assuring Kenyans that the team will record positive results.
Kenya have been trying to get to the Olympics to no avail prompting the government to up the team’s preparations this year and there are hopes of a change in fortunes in Nigeria.