MALKIA ON TRACK

Bitok lauds Malkia's drastic development ahead of World show

The Kenya Queens are in their second week in the South American country where they will pitch tent for two months

In Summary

• Bitok feels Malkia are gaining a lot in terms of skills ostensibly due to their current modern training facilities. 

•Kenya are the only African country incorporated into the program by the game's world governing body.

Kenya's Sharon Kiprono in action with Brankica Mihajlovic of Serbia.
Kenya's Sharon Kiprono in action with Brankica Mihajlovic of Serbia.
Image: /FILE

Malkia Strikers will head to the World Championship in better shape after showing significant improvement and adapting to the demands of high-performance training in Brazil, coach Paul Bitok has updated.

The Kenya Queens are in their second week in the South American country where they will pitch tent for two months and have a 10-day stop in Serbia en route to the 19th edition of the quadrennial show that will be co-hosted by the Netherlands and Poland from September 25 to October 15.

Speaking during a training session in Sao Paulo, Bitok who was re-appointed as national women's coach in August 2019 after a decade stint in Rwanda, said he is impressed with the progress the girls have made in training.

Bitok feels Malkia are gaining a lot in terms of skills ostensibly due to their current modern training facilities. 

"The first week was really good. We are in the second week and the players have adjusted and are already showing glimpses of their best. We are working on tactics and systems of play."

Bitok, who is also the Kenya Commercial Bank technical director, added that they are burning the midnight oil to get it right on reception which has been Kenya's Achilles' heel.

"Over the years, the reception has been our tragic flaw hence we are allocating more time to it so that we are spot-on by the time we get to the competition proper."

Bitok will want his players to put into practice what they have learned when the team play friendly matches in the coming weeks.

"In the next few weeks, I believe we will get to see the hard work the players have invested in the training. Plans are also underway to have international test series with local clubs. "

Sixteen players led by captain Mercy Moim are benefiting from the Federation of International de Volleyball (FIVB) training program.

Kenya are the only African country incorporated into the program by the game's world governing body.

It is the first time Malkia are having serious preparations outside the continent before a major championship. The team failed to travel to Brazil for pre-Olympics training camp last year, owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

 After leaving Brazil, Malkia will play friendly matches with Serbia and Colombia in Serbia with Mozzartbet footing all expenses. 

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