Kenya/Egypt: Bitok Wary of Egypt Ahead of Olympic Qualifiers

11 December 2019

Malkia Strikers head coach Paul Bitok has singled out Egypt as a potential dark horse ahead of the upcoming African Olympic qualifiers slated for January 2-10 in Cameroon.

Bitok - who won the All African Games title in Rabat, Morocco in September - will be looking to guide Kenya to only their third appearance at the Olympics with a top place finish at the qualifiers.

Kenya will battle Cameroon, Botswana, Mauritius and Egypt for the sole slot reserved for Africa.

While the hosts are the pre-tournament favourites alongside Kenya, Bitok insists that Egypt cannot be underrated.

"The last time we played Egypt was during the Cup of Nations in Cairo and they were without some key players who had troubled Kenyan clubs during the Club Championships in March," Bitok told Nation Sport on Wednesday at Kasarani Indoor Arena.

"Some of these players have since recovered and this means they will have a formidable side in Cameroon. They are a very unpredictable side so we have to be very careful against them," he added.

Meanwhile, Bitok has urged the government as well as National Olympic Committee of Kenya (Nock) to facilitate as series of international friendly matches before the qualifiers.

"As we speak, Egypt are on their way to Brazil to step up their preparations. We also need to test ourselves against good opposition because we are going for a very important competition. This is the last chance we have to qualify for the Olympics which is a very big stage that every player dreams of, " said Bitok.

Setter Janet Wanja was yet to report to camp by Wednesday morning due to family commitments, but she is expected to link up with the team next week.

Kenya has featured in the Olympics twice before - in 2000 in Sydney, Australia and in 2004 in Athens, Greece.

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