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Malkia Strikers subdue hard-fighting Egyptians in Yaounde – PHOTOS

Favourites Kenya and Cameroon have made the best possible start in the race to grab the sole qualification ticket reserved for an African women volleyball team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

On Sunday Kenya recovered from a slow start to defeat Egypt 3-1(23-25,25-15,25-21,25-22) on the opening day of the Africa qualifiers at the Palais polyvalent des sports (Paposy) Arena in Yaounde.

Malkia Strikers celebrate a point during their Olympics qualifier against Egypt at Palais polyvalent des sports (Paposy) Arena in Yaounde on January 5, 2020. PHOTO | SAMUEL GACHARIRA
Malkia Strikers celebrate a point during their Olympics qualifier against Egypt at Palais polyvalent des sports (Paposy) Arena in Yaounde on January 5, 2020. PHOTO | SAMUEL GACHARIRA

Hosts Cameroon also easily won her opening match, thrashing Botswana 3-0 in straight sets of 25-17, 25-4 and 27-25.

Kenya is set to play Botswana at 6pm on Monday while Cameroon will tackle Nigeria in a potentially thrilling West African derby.

Kenya coach Paul Bitok was missing the services of the injured experienced blocker Trizah Atuka.

Malkia Strikers celebrate a point during their Olympics qualifier against Egypt at Palais polyvalent des sports (Paposy) Arena in Yaounde on January 5, 2020. PHOTO | SAMUEL GACHARIRA
Malkia Strikers celebrate a point during their Olympics qualifier against Egypt at Palais polyvalent des sports (Paposy) Arena in Yaounde on January 5, 2020. PHOTO | SAMUEL GACHARIRA

Bitok elected to start with Noel Murambi as the outside hitter in place of the impressive Leonida Kasaya.

Kenya then squandered a 16-13 lead to lose the opening set, before bouncing back to overpower the Egyptians.

Malkia Strikers are looking to qualify for the Olympics for the first time since 2004 and join the men and women rugby teams in playing at the Olympics later this year.