Kenya Now Turns Focus On Beach Volleyball Qualifiers

April 26, 2021

Kenya men’s beach volleyball coach Patrick Owino is breathing a sigh of relief after FIVB approved the repeat of the second round of African Olympic qualifiers.

The competition will be staged on June 21-27 at a yet-to-be-decided venue.

The men’s team of Ibrahim Odouri, James Mwaniki, Brian Melly and Enock Mogeni failed to travel to Gambia last year for the qualifiers after the government banned athletes from traveling for international events due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The women’s team also failed to honour the second round qualifiers in Nigeria over the travel restrictions.

The men’s side was scheduled to play Mauritius, Botswana, South Sudan and hosts Gambia but only South Sudan made the trip and thus were cleared to compete in the final round alongside Gambia.

Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) later last year wrote to CAVB requesting for cancellation of results of the second phase qualifiers since most nations didn’t compete due to coronavirus.

Kenya had won the appeal for the cancellation of the women’s event but had not gotten the green light for the men’s tournament.

“I’m glad that we now have an equal playing field. We have good sides and I believe with good preparation, we will achieve positive results. I will consider adding a pair or two but I will be guided by the support we will get from the National Olympic Committee of Kenya and the federation at large,” said Owino.

Two teams from each pool will proceed to the final round.

A statement copied to national federations issued by CAVB on Friday said: “Following the approval of the FIVB, the 2nd Round Phase & Finals of the CAVB Beach Volleyball Continental Cup (2018 – 2021) will be held under a secure bubble concept Organisation; that is; both gender in a single venue and at the same time.”

“We are pleased to inform you that this secure bubble concept organisation and the updated competition progression scheme has been approved by the FIVB in accordance with the Olympic Qualification principles stipulated by the IOC and ensures that the equal opportunity and fair access principles be applied to such a prestigious event to select the best athletes representing CAVB through their field performances at the Tokyo Olympic Games.”

“National Federations shall bid to be awarded the hosting with emphasis on availability of facilities extended to the participating teams and strict sanitary arrangements which shall improve the chances of avoiding Covid-19 transmissions.”

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At the same time, Kenya women’s team coach Sammy Mulinge has welcomed the new dates.

“If Naomi Too will be fit to play then, I will consider her services. Naomi and Gaudencia Makokha are the most capped players in the discipline. Time is not on our side and therefore we need to hit the ground running,” said Mulinge, who doubles up as the Kenya Ports Authority men’s team coach.

“I hope we will get good support so that I can draft in some young players because my goal is to develop talent.”

Too missed the first qualifiers which was staged in Tanzania as she was nursing a knee injury which she has since recovered.

The pairs of Makokha and Brackcides Agala, Phosicah Kasisi and Yvonne Wavinya failed to travel to Nigeria.

The women’s team is drawn in Pool “C” alongside Gambia, Cape Verde, Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia.



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