Malkia Strikers to face Japan in Olympics opener

National women volleyball team Malkia Strikers will take on hosts Japan in their opening match of this year’s Olympic Games to be staged in Tokyo from July 24- August 9. Making a return in the Summer Games after 16 years of absence, Kenya will clash with Japan on July 26 before taking on Korea in July 28. They will thereafter face off with the 2016 silver medallists Serbia on July 30 then take on Dominican Republic on August 1 before concluding their pool A matches against 2012 gold medallists Brazil on August 3. Defending champions China, Russia, Italy, USA, Argentina and Turkey are the teams drawn in pool B. The men’s competition will kick start volleyball action at the global event when Italy take on Canada on July 25 with the men’s and women’s events set to be held on alternate days. The women’s finals will be held on the last day of the competition- August 9 prior to the closing ceremony with the men’s finals slated to be held a day earlier. All the volleyball matches will be played at the newly constructed Ariake Arena in the Japanese capital. Malkia Strikers edged Cameroon to be bag the sole African ticket to the Games and already head coach Paul Bitok has developed an elaborate programme that will include a tour of Europe in preparations for the global event. At the 2004 Games held in Athens, Greece, Malkia Strikers were eliminated at the preliminary stages after losing all five matches without winning a single set.

latest stories