National women's volleyball team head coach Paul Bitok Monday whittled down his provisional squad to 14 players ahead of Kenya's return to the Olympics after 17 years.
Bitok has dropped youngsters Pamela Adhiambo and Emmaculate Nekesa as Malkia Strikers enter the third phase of training at the Kasarani Indoor Arena.
He commended the players who made it to the 14 member team for their dedication and hard work.
"I also take this opportunity to thank the two talented young players Pamela Adhiambo and Emmaculate Nekesa. The effort and commitment you put in showed that you have a great potential and a promising future in your volleyball career. At the age of 18 and 20 if you maintain these standards, you will be among the best in the near future," said the tactician.
Bitok urged the remaining players to be relentless in fighting for their position in the team and focus on improving the standards of Malkia strikers.
"Status report from all coaches indicates that you all have equal chances in the current team. The final squad of 12 players will be selected from the 14 members," said Bitok, advising those in camp never to relax "because you have made it to the 14-member team.
"Be always alert and mindful and continue training harder since we still have a great task ahead of us."
He also thanked his fellow coaches led by Brazilian Luizomar for their great training sessions and the new skills they have impacted to the Kenyan team.
"Their use of statistics and daily monitoring by using the new system of measuring work load of each individual, has greatly improved performance and individual player assessment," he noted.
Malkia Strikers leave for Kurume City in Japan on July 5 for the final phase where the team will train for another two weeks before proceeding to Tokyo Olympics village for the competition.
The African queens, who last competed at the Olympics in 2004, will face Japan, Serbia, Brazil, South Korea and the Dominican Republic in Pool "A" at the Tokyo Olympics.
Noel Murambi, Mercy Moim, Leonida Kasaya, Pamela Jepkurui, Sharon Chepchumba, Emmaculate Chemutai, Violet Makuto, Joy Lusenaka, Jane Wacu, Agrippina Kundu, Elizabeth Wanyama, Edith Wisa, Gladys Ekaru and Lorine Chebet.