Kenya coach Sammy Mulinge has called for consistence and focus from his players as they head to Abuja, Nigeria for the second round of Africa beach volleyball Olympic qualifiers.
Two slots are up for grabs to the next and final round. From the 48 teams in the first round, the best 20 teams will compete in four pools in a round-and-robin format with the top two of each pool qualifying for the final round in April.
Kenya will play host Nigeria, Cape Verde, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in Group C from March 5-7.
“I need the players to be focused and take on their rivals with determination knowing that they are playing for their life, career and reputation,” Mulinge said on Monday in Nairobi.
Veteran player Brackcides Agala and Gaudencia Makokha together with Phoscah Kasisi and Yvonne Wavinya have been retained as the two pairs of the Kenyan women’s team.
Kenya finished second behind winner Rwanda in the first round in January. From the final round in April, only one team out of the eight will make the cut to compete at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
“The important thing is to have believe. Keep focus on the target because the talent these players have is immense. I have total confidence in them. The qualifiers are another round of test and we will overcome and edge closer to Tokyo Olympics. We hope to finish in top two spots to proceed to the last round,” said Mulinge.
On the other hand, its men’s team is pitching camp in Mombasa ahead of their second round Africa Olympic qualifiers to be staged in Banjul, Gambia from April 12-16.
Head coach Patrick Owino said the team, which has eight players will be trimmed down to four prior to their departure to Banjul. Kenya cleared its first round hurdle as second best side behind winner Tanzania in Entebbe, Uganda.
In Banjul, Kenya will come up against host Gambia, Mauritius, Botswana and South Sudan. Like their women colleagues, only two slots are up for grabs to the final round of eight teams. Enditem