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Kenya back at the top at the African Championship

Kenya are back at the top of their continent after the country’s women’s national team triumphed at the 2023 edition of the African Championship, which was concluded on Thursday in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

The Malkia Strikers secured their first continental title since 2015 with a three-set (25-22, 25-20, 25-14) victory over Egypt in the gold medal match. – the Kenyans had taken silver in 2017, 2019 and 2021. It was the tenth victory of the team in the last 32 years, following titles in 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2005, 2007, 2011, 2013 and 2015.

Opposite Sharon ‘Chumba’ Chepchumba was a key player in the Kenyan victory, leading the team with 18 points in the final against the Egyptians. The 24-year-old player, who has been with the national team since 2018, was also awarded as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

Two other Kenyan players were included in the tournament’s Dream Team in setter Emmaculate Misoki and outside hitter Mercy Moim. Egypt was represented by libero Nada Walid and middle blocker Aya Khalid, third-placed Cameroon had opposite Estelle Adiana and middle blocker Stéphanie Fotso in and fourth-placed Rwanda sent outside hitter Valentine Munezero to the ideal lineup.

The victory reinforces the positive moment of Kenya at the international level. The Malkia Strikers have played in several major tournaments over the last ten years, most notably the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the 2018 and 2022 FIVB Volleyball World Championships, the 2015 and 2019 FIVB World Cups and the 2023 FIVB Volleyball Challenger Cup.

“Winning the African Championship means a lot more than regaining the supremacy in the continent or winning a trophy and medals,” head coach Luizomar de Moura said after the victory. “It means going beyond in every single way. I’m very proud of working with such a fantastic group of players and of helping take Kenya to the top of the podium, but it doesn’t end here.”

In the bronze medal match, hosts Cameroon overcame Rwanda 3-1 (21-25, 25-15, 25-14, 25-15) to make it to the podium for a six-straight time.

Source: Volleyball World

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