Familiar foes Kenya, Cameroon collide in Olympic qualifier decider


Familiar foes Kenya, Cameroon collide in Olympic qualifier decider
Malkia Strikers do a jig after victory against Egypt on January 5, 2020 in Cameroon.PHOTO/Courtesy/KFV

In Summary

  • Africa's volleyball titans Kenya and Cameroon will renew their epic rivalry in the 2020 Africa Olympics qualifiers penultimate fixture deemed as the decider on Tuesday 9pm in Yaoundé, Cameroon.
  • The potentially-explosive encounter will be another series of unending duels between the two volleyball titans in the continent and as any other fixture the match is tipped to live its billing with many thrills and spills.

Africa’s volleyball titans Kenya and Cameroon will renew their epic rivalry in the 2020 Africa Olympics qualifiers penultimate fixture deemed as the decider on Tuesday 9pm in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

The two heavy weights jointly lead the table of the qualifiers organised in a round-robin format on six points but Cameroon who are looking imperious as ever boasts a superior sets ratio difference after winning the first two matches in straight sets.

Kenya who have also shown no weakness in their campaign, have won 3-1 against Egypt and 3-0 against Botswana while Cameroon, the Africa Nations champions have effortlessly spanked both Nigeria and Botswana in straight sets.

The potentially-explosive encounter will be another series of unending duels between the two volleyball titans in the continent and as any other fixture the match is tipped to live to its billing with many thrills and spills.

In their last two meetings, Kenya defeated Cameroon 3-2 sets on their way to retain the African Games crown in August and subsequently won 3-1 at the FIVB World Cup held in Japan in September. Cameroon had defeated Kenya 3-2 in the finals of the Africa Cup of Nations in Cairo last July.

Interestingly, Malkia Strikers gaffer Paul Bitok has not tasted defeat against Cameroon since taking over last August and he will be looking to maintain his 100 percent record but most importantly he will want to exact revenge against the latter who denied his charges the Games ticket in 2016.

“My players are ready for the task and after winning the last two matches against them I believe we will maintain that momentum tonight,” he said. “All our departments have improved and if we play like we did against Botswana then we will have it.”

Speaking ahead of the showdown, Malkia Strikers’ middle blocker Edith Wisa also brimmed with confidence they will crush their arch-rivals in order to be assured of the sole ticket reserved for Africa given that their final tie will be against lowly ranked Nigeria.

“We know they will receive a massive support from their home fans but our mindset is very strong to handle that pressure. Cameroon is our only hurdle now but we are ready to return to the Games and I rally all the Kenyans to remember us ahead of the ‘war’,” fired up Wisa told Citizen Digital from Cameroon.

Malkia Strikers are eyeing an Olympics return after a 16-year drought, with their last outing dating back to 2004 where they finished at position 11, similar to the previous and first outing in 2000.

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Story By Stanley Mativo
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