Bitok bemoans injury of Malkia powerhouse Atuka


Bitok bemoans injury of Malkia powerhouse Atuka
The 26-year-old Atuka was also part of the Malkia squad that recently featured at the FIVB World Championship in Japan.Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha.

In Summary

  • National women’s volleyball team head coach Paul Bitok has regretted Trizah Atuka’s career-threatening knee injury terming it is a massive blow for Malkia Strikers ahead of the January Olympics qualifiers in Cameroon.
  • The Kenya Pipeline middle blocker will be sidelined for a lengthy spell after rupturing Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) in her left knee during last weekend's final leg of the Kenyan Volleyball Federation league in Kapsabet.

National women’s volleyball team head coach Paul Bitok has regretted Trizah Atuka’s career-threatening knee injury terming it is a massive blow for Malkia Strikers ahead of the January Olympics qualifiers in Cameroon.

The Kenya Pipeline middle blocker will be sidelined for a lengthy spell after rupturing Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) in her left knee during last weekend’s final leg of the Kenyan Volleyball Federation league in Kapsabet.

Following the setback, Bitok has been left with a hard task on who will fill the void in Atuka’s position ahead of the qualifiers set for January 6-12 where a single ticket for the African countries is at stake.

“She is a key member in our squad and it is so sad we are going to miss her in Cameroon because she really helped us in Japan during FIVB World Cup. She is very experienced but now we have to start planning on who will take his position,” Bitok told Citizen Digital.

The Malkia Strikers coach will shift his focus to fast-rising Kenya Pipeline’s Gladys Ekaru and Kenya Prisons duo Lorine Chebet and Edith Wisa as he plans for life without Atuka.

“As we wish Atuka a quick recovery we should move on fast and look for another reliable middle blocker who will guide us to the Olympics in Japan. I have another three players in that position and I’m sure they rise to the occasion,” he added.

With the Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) playoffs set for November 22-24 at the Kasarani Indoor Arena, Kenya Pipeline will first feel the pinch of the absence of the 2017 Africa’s best blocker.

Last year, the 27-year-old Mukumu Girls alumnus missed the season finale after undergoing surgery in the stomach ruling her out for about six months and she will also sit out in the next year’s Africa Club Championship where Pipeline is guaranteed by virtue of finishing third in this year’s event.

Meanwhile, Kenya will fight for the sole Olympic Games ticket alongside Botswana, Algeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, and hosts Cameroon after the Volleyball Federation of Africa (CAVB) published the names of the teams who will honour the qualifiers.

 

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