Malkia Stars should resume training early ahead of Tokyo Olympics, says Bitok

The national women’s volleyball team Malkia Strikers head coach Paul Bitok, has urged National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK), to facilitate camp for the girls in early January and preferably at Kasarani, ahead of the summer games in Japan.

Bitok says the buck stops with NOCK and not the Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF), on when the team will kick start their Olympic games preparations, especially after the government gave the green light for the resumption of selective sporting activities in the country.

“If we can start in January it would be better because we have 6 months before the competition. Considering the national league hasn’t been on while most of our opponents have been training during the year and catching up is not easy. We can use the Africa club championship in April to gauge ourselves” Bitok affirmed.

By defeating favourites Cameroon, Kenya topped the standings on eight points, one above the hosts and went on to grab the single ticket after defeating lowly ranked Nigeria by straight sets as Cameroon also spiked Egypt in their final match, but the race to Tokyo was already over.

KVF had already set the month of October as the tentative action-return date for the National League season, but has since been rescheduled for January 23, in compliance with FIVB format where during the first leg, there will be no tournaments in between since the new format requires the league to end by June.

The experienced tactician said the Covid-19 pandemic might have slowed down their programme but all is not lost as he relishes the prospects of returning to the court and further called upon the clubs to keep tabs on their respective players and ensure their fitness levels is in good shape.

“The girls are in good shape even though they are in their parent clubs, so it depends with their coaches who should monitor their progress closely. I can only speak of KCB players whom I train with sometimes but once we assemble the whole team it will be all systems go” He stated.

Kenya’s Malkia Strikers will be up against hosts Japan in Pool A with Serbia, the reigning world and European champions and Rio 2016 silver medalists. Other teams are double Olympic champions Brazil, South Korea and Dominican Republic


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