NAIROBI, Kenya, June 25 – Malkia Strikers head coach Paul Bitok had to use the fine details of statistics to drop middle blocker Violet Makuto and libero Elizabeth Wanyama as he named his final team of 12 for the Tokyo Olympic Games on Friday.
Bitok had a team of 14 training at their Moi Sports Centre Kasarani bubble, but due to restrictions from the Olympics, he had to name only 12 and this dropped two from his squad.
“It has been a very hard process to try and pick the final travelling team to the Olympics in Tokyo because all these 14 players have worked extremely hard. But we had to make tough decisions and we had to use statistics to know who was the most efficient in training routines as well as the training games we play,” Bitok told Capital Sport.
Skipper Mercy Moim was also dejected for the dropped two; “It is very hard as a captain to see my teammates not make into the team but it is always a tough decision to make. For the team that is selected, we will do our best to prepare for the Olympic Games.”
Moim leads the squad of 12 that is preparing for the Olympics, but coach Bitok has left the window open for any eventuality as the deadline for the FIVB registration is June 5.
“We are still trying to see whether we can be allowed to have a list of 14 but also, anything can happen between now and July 5. We will still want to have the two remain in camp but if they decide to go back home it is still okay,” Bitok said.
Moim will lead the squad of 12 that will head for the Tokyo Games.
Malkia Strikers final squad:
Left attacker: Mercy Moim, Noelle Murambi, Pamela Chepkurui, Leonida Kasaya.
Middle blockers: Edith Wisa, Lorine Chebet, Gladys Ekaru
Opposite hitters: Sharon Chepchumba, Immaculate Chemutai
Setters: Jane Wacu, Joy Luseneka
Libero: Aggripina Kundu