AAG: Malkia Juniors Strike Gold in Congo

Kenya extended her dominance in Africa women’s volleyball after the junior national team won the country’s third gold in African Games in Congo Brazzaville Monday evening.

Kenya cruised past Cameroon 3-1 (15-25, 25-14, 25-15, and 25-19) in the final of the women’s competition at Henry Elende Hall in Brazzaville, Congo.

This came as a surprise to the junior team who performed beyond expectation, even surpassing the senior team that missed this medal four years ago, interestingly to the same Cameroonian side in Maputo, Mozambique.

It has been a brilliant three months for Kenya. The African Games title is the third major honour for the volleyball team who barely three months ago triumphed in the African Nations Championships, winning a record ninth title. Last month, the senior team made history after winning their group at the FIVB world Grand Prix in Australia before finishing 10th at the FIVB World Cup.

After the final CAVB President Dr Amr Elwani accompanied by Congo VB Fed President Jean Claude Mopita honoured the top 3 teams in presence of the competition Control Committee.

Kenya overcame a shaky start and recovered from a set behind to win a thrilling encounter against Cameroon in a final that lasted an hour and 27 minutes.

Cameroon started the match as the better side using the spikes of Nana Tchoudjang and Theorine Aboa and succeeded to lead steadily until they won the first set 25-15.

The second set showed completely a different picture as the Kenyan side came back aggressively with their better reception and digging to lead 8-3 and 16-7 in the first and second technical timeouts (TTOs). Kenya then employed solid blocks which stopped Cameroon to draw 1-1 after winning the set 25-14.

The East Africans maintained their lead throughout the third set with quick attacks led by center blockers turned attackers Edith Wisa and Joan Chelegat. Despite changes made by Cameroonian technical bench in the third set, Kenya won the subsequent set 25-15, before grabbing the fourth set 25-19

Leonida Kasaya scored a massive 25 points for the new African champions while Wisa contributed five points out Kenya’s 14 from blocks to finish top in the individual blocking category. Wisa who only trained for a week with the team was also the best scorer (blocks) in their semi-final match against Egypt where she managed seven points.

Egypt claimed the bronze with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-6, 25-15) win over Seychelles in the third place match lasting only 61 minutes.

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