Bitok: Tokyo Olympics a launch pad for Malkia Strikers


Bitok: Tokyo Olympics a launch pad for Malkia Strikers
Then Rwanda coach Paul Bitok instructs his charges against Kenya during their Women's Under 23 African Nations volleyball champions at Safaricom Gymnasium stadium Kasarani on October 27, 2016. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha/Citizen

In Summary

  • The African Games champions will be the first batch of athletes to fly out on Thursday ahead of the two-week camp in Kurume City.
  • The national women’s volleyball team head coach Paul Bitok says the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games will act as a launching pad for Malkia Strikers with podium finish his main target in the 2024 Games in France.
  • Team Kenya chef de mission, Waithaka Kioni and chief executive Officer, Wangui Kibe alongside athletes’ representative, Humphrey Kayange and Covid-19 liaison officer, Susan Adhiambo-will be the first batch to depart Tuesday 6pm for Japan.

The national women’s volleyball team head coach Paul Bitok says the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games will act as a launching pad for Malkia Strikers with podium finish his main target in the 2024 Games in France.

Speaking during the pre-Olympics departure press conference in Nairobi on Tuesday Bitok, who has steered the nine-time African champions back to the Summer Games after a 16-year hiatus, said he expects a ‘best’ performance from his charges at this year’s Games.

The African Games champions will be the first batch of athletes to fly out on Thursday ahead of the two-week camp in Kurume City.

Pitted against the crème-de-la-crème of global volleyball, Bitok is hoping to buck the trend of dismal showing in Malkia’s two previous appearances in 2000 and 2004 Games, where they finished bottom with no single win in both occasions.

“We want to have the best results now so that when it comes to the next Olympics we will be talking of the medal bracket and that’s what we’re aiming now.

“The team that we have this year half of them are young players and if they get the Olympics experience this year they will produce the best in the near future,” said Bitok.

Betto Roberto, one of the four High Performance coaches from Brazil seconded to the team by FIVB, said the squad is ready to rumble at the multi-sport event due on July 23.

“Currently, we’re having group of studies with players showing them videos from the opponents and explaining them what they should be doing when playing in a high level or at an international stage.”

Malkia Strikers are in pool ‘A’ alongside hosts Japan, Korea, Serbia and Dominican Republic.

Team Kenya chef de mission, Waithaka Kioni and chief executive Officer, Wangui Kibe alongside athletes’ representative, Humphrey Kayange and Covid-19 liaison officer, Susan Adhiambo-will be the first batch to depart Tuesday 6pm for Japan.

“The Chef-De-Mission will leave with an advanced party to attend the Delegates Registration Meeting ahead of the teams’ arrivals in Tokyo. The first athletes to leave will be the Malkia Strikers, who depart for a pre-departure camp at Kurume City this Thursday.

“The teams have been divided into small travel parties in order to manage the risks of Covid-19 infection as well as in accordance with the period of stay guidelines by the organisers,” read part of the National Olympics Committee of Kenya’s (NOC-K) statement on Tuesday.

 

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Story By Stanley Mativo
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