Kenya's Malkia Strikers are scheduled to face Egypt today August 24 in the final of the 21st edition of the African Volleyball Championship, being played in Yaoundé, Cameroon. The day before, the Kenyans beat the Cameroonians, the three-time defending champions, by 3 sets to 1. A big disappointment for the Lionesses, who were once again hoping to win the championship.
"It's a big disappointment. I think the whole team feels the same way. We came here to win, but it didn't happen. The Kenyans were far superior to us in so many ways," says the Cameroonian team’s captain, Simone Flore Bikatal.
Peter Nonnenbroich, manager of the Cameroon team, points at the perfunctory preparation of his team. "We started working together six weeks ago. Unfortunately, that showed in the match," the German coach told RFI.
Meanwhile, the Cameroon squad is being reshuffled with the departure of key players such as Laetitia Crescence Moma, former captain Christelle Nana, and libero Raïssa Nasser. The absence of the latter lowered the quality of Cameroon’s performance. The Cameroonians narrowly won the first set, taking advantage of several unforced errors by their opponents. After that, Simone Flore Bikatal and her teammates were destroyed.
According to some experts, the Cameroonian team’s progress in the championship could have been more complicated had certain former players (like Fawziya Abdoulkarim and Stéphanie Fotsoeturn) not agreed to play with the team again.
In the end, Simone Flore Bikatal admits that the contract was not fulfilled with this defeat by the Kenyans. A defeat that deprives Cameroon of a place at next year's Olympic Games in Paris. However, the captain promised the Cameroonian public a bronze medal in this afternoon's semi-final against Rwanda.
Michel Ange Nga