Maiyo was left out due to poor form-Lung’aho

Kenya Prisons opposite striker, Lydia Maiyo, spikes during the World Grand Prix Group 3 final against ...
Kenya Prisons opposite striker, Lydia Maiyo, spikes during the World Grand Prix Group 3 final against Peru. PHOTO/FIVB

Seasoned Kenya Prisons opposite striker, Lydia Maiyo was omitted from the Malkia Strikers squad due to poor form, head coach David Lung’aho has confirmed.

Speaking to Citizen Digital on Friday, Lunga’ho also stressed the veteran of 12 FIVB World Women’s Volleyball Championships game was left out since he is not keen to make any more mistakes as Strikers embark on challenging for the last ticket to qualify for the Rio Olympics in Brazil.

“The team is ready for the competition. However,  I do not want to take chances. Maiyo is a good player but her performance has gone down. This is the only chance for us so we want the best for this team,” the coach explained.

The omission of the Uasin Gishu born star who made his Strikers international debut in Poland caused disquiet in the squad where Lung’aho recalled a host of experienced campaigners who missed the Africa Olympics Qualifiers in Yaounde, Cameroon to the squad.

“I felt bad when I checked the list and she wasn’t included. Maiyo has experience I don’t know how it will be but we are capable of taking the chance because we are the best. We only need to be focused, teamwork and above all put God  first ahead of the competition,” wing spiker, Mercy Moim who was among those who made a comeback to the team said on Tuesday.

Lung’aho is still smarting from the shock quarterfinal exit of his club, Prisons at the recent Africa Women Volleyball Club Championships in Tunisia where he played Maiyo and the forthcoming FIVB World Qualifiers in Puerto Rico offers the decorated former national team player an immediate chance to bounce back.

Strikers are also training for Group 2 of the FIVB World Grand Prix in Poland at Nairobi’s Safaricom Stadium.

“We will be training everyday until the time we depart. We are focused on qualifying to the Olympics and we are putting everything in place and training is at field pitch.

“We believe in ourselves and hope even after qualifying for the Olympics we will extend the good performance at the World Grand Prix against Argentina, Poland and Bulgaria,” the coach added.

The team that travels on May 17 missed an automatic ticket for Rio after losing 3-2 to Egypt in the semifinals of the African qualifiers before booking their place in the repecharge World Qualifiers by finishing third in the competition.

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Story By Carol Kones
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