Kenya: Bitok Gives Ultimatum to Malkia Strikers Trio

9 December 2019

Setters Janet Wanja, Jane Wacu and Esther Mutinda have until Tuesday morning to link up with the national women's volleyball team for residential training at Kasarani Indoor Arena or risk being dropped from the squad preparing for the upcoming Africa Tokyo 2020 Olympics qualifiers.

The qualifiers are set for January 2 to 10 in Cameroon. Wanja and Wacu are yet to report to camp since the team begun training last Tuesday while the upcoming Mutinda has trained with the team but left citing personal reasons.

Head coach Paul Bitok, who is back in the country after conducting a coaching course in Nigeria last week, said he will have no choice but drop the three if they fail to show up for training on Tuesday.

"I have contacted the three players and I have given them until tomorrow to be in the training. If they fail to show up then I will have no choice but to replace them with one setter and one left attacker," noted Bitok.

He added: "We only have one setter- Joy Lusenaka and we can't do much when it comes to proper training. Luckily we have two weeks and we hope to use that period to cover as much ground as we can."

Meanwhile, the decorated coach has appealed to the government and National Olympic Committee of Kenya (Nock) to facilitate international friendly matches prior to the event.

According to Bitok. their nemesis Cameroon will be Poland while Egypt will be camping in Brazil ahead of the tourney that will see only one team proceed to 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

"I found out Egypt have attached one Brazilian coach when I was in Nigeria. I'm also in touch with Bulgaria and Turkey volleyball officials and it's my prayer that we get the chance to train there. Should we get funding then we will be in Europe for a couple of friendlies and that will boost our preparedness. But so far the training is going on well and we can only get better going forward," he said.

Malkia Strikers will come up against hosts Cameroon, Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Botswana, Rwanda, and Mauritius for the one slot reserved for Africa.

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