Wanja, Chepchumba set sights on Olympic Games


Wanja, Chepchumba set sights on Olympic Games
Sharon Chepchumba in action against Serbia during FIVB World Cup clash in Hamamatsu, Japan on September 16, 2019. Photo / Courtsey/ FIVB

In Summary

  • Kenya’s volleyball queens Janet Wanja and Sharon Chepchumba are confident Malkia Strikers will topple Cameroon to clinch African 2020 Olympic Games ticket
  • Despite Cameroon playing host to the qualifiers set for January 6-12 the two volleyball queens say home advantage for the West African team does not worry them and they are ready to return to the Olympic Games after a 15-year drought

Kenya’s volleyball queens Janet Wanja and Sharon Chepchumba are confident Malkia Strikers will topple Cameroon to clinch African 2020 Olympic Games ticket.

Despite Cameroon playing host to the qualifiers set for January 6-12 the two volleyball queens say home advantage for the West African team does not worry them and they are ready to return to the Olympic Games after a 15-year drought.

The West African rivals outbid Kenya in securing hosting rights after the former placed Sh8.5 million offer beating Kenya who had tabled Sh8.1 million and Paul Bitok will be preparing his arsenal ahead of  the January event to settle the score on the court.

“That’s a non-issue to us, we will beat Cameroon in their home turf because we have won against them even without playing in Kenya so we have the experience in winning outside the country,” said Wanja who is arguably the most seasoned player in Malkia Strikers camp alongside fellow setter Jane Wacu.

Chepchumba said: “They won the hosting rights but we will win in the qualifiers and that’s what is important. We have a talented squad which is a mixture of youthful and seasoned players that will beat Cameroon again there is no doubt about that.”

Malkia Strikers has defeated Cameroon two times in as many times after losing 3-2 against the latter in the Africa Cup Championship finals in, Egypt, two months ago.  Kenya has won against their rivals in the African Games finals and in the just concluded World Cup in Japan.

Chepchumba turn down pro deals

Meanwhile, Chepchumba a fast-rising left attacker has opted to extend her stay at her club Kenya Pipeline despite landing professional offers.

Chepchumba who has impressed in recent championships with the national team, was a target of four clubs in Turkey but it seems she is ready to turn down the deals and concentrate on helping her club to reclaim the Kenya Volleyball Federation women’s league.

“I would like to play pro but first I want to help my club win the league title before I think of playing outside Kenya. Probably next year I can think of going abroad because at the end of the day I would like to sharpen my skills away from home,” she said.

The Kwanthanze alumnus was among the young players who impressed in the just concluded FIVB World Cup after she was ranked 24th out of 145 on the top scorers’ chart despite a forgetful outing for Malkia Strikers who finished 12th out of 13 teams.

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Story By Stanley Mativo
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