Malkia Strikers must top Africa to secure Paris Olympic dream
What you need to know:
- Our local league has given our local based players a good platform to stay in competition shape and the foreign legion led by star opposite Sharon Chepchumba is also enjoying rich form abroad.
- KVF should now put it’s house in order and set the ball rolling. The clock is ticking!
This year’s Paris Olympic qualification tournament will see the top 24 teams according to FIVB rankings battle it out for the 11 available slots.
China, Japan and Poland will stage the women’s event from 16-24 September, while Brazil, China and Japan are set to host the men’s Olympic Qualification Tournaments from 30 September to 8 October 2023.
Tunisia and Egypt will represent Africa in the men’s category but there will be no representative in the ladies category since both Kenya and Cameroon are ranked 30th and 31st respectively in the latest FIVB rankings, outside the required 24.
Twelve teams per gender will participate in the Olympic volleyball competition at the Olympic Games Paris 2024.
As the host nation, France, the current men’s Olympic volleyball champions, has secured its place in both the men’s and women’s competitions.
The other 11 quota places per gender will be allocated via a two-step qualification process that ensures the best volleyball nations can participate at the event while observing the principle of universality.
In particular, six Olympic quota places per gender will be contested during the Olympic Qualification Tournaments where the top 24 teams as per the FIVB Volleyball Senior World Ranking (WR) not yet qualified will be split into three pools of eight teams. The top two teams of each pool will then qualify for Paris 2024.
The remaining five Olympic places per gender will be filled by selecting the top five not yet qualified teams in the FIVB World Ranking as of the end of the preliminary phase of the Volleyball Nations League 2024.
To guarantee the principle of universality, these teams will be selected as per the following order of priority: 1) The team(s) from a continent(s) without a qualified team(s) and 2) Top team(s) not yet qualified.
While the principle of universality means each continent must have representation at the 2024 Summer Olympics, this remains Kenya’s only sure route to Paris. But the sole slot reserved for Africa will only be given to the top ranked nation by close of the international calendar next year.
This means Kenya has to ensure it maintains top spot in Africa in the run-up to the Paris Olympics. To achieve this, Kenya has to perform well at this year’s Africa Nations Championship and perhaps dethrone Cameroon who have won the title for the last three editions.
Winning this tournament will not only mean Kenya reinforces its status as the top ranked nation in Africa but also earn us more invaluable ranking points which will take Malkia Strikers closer to claiming the universality slot to Paris Olympics.
There is an outside chance that Kenya, by virtue of being the top ranked country in Africa, might get the opportunity to play at this year’s FIVB Challenger Cup which is a qualifier to the lucrative Volleyball Nations League.
KVF should rally support from the Ministry of Sports, NOC-K and corporate sponsors to ensure Kenya confirms participation in this tournament.
While qualifying for the VNL could be a tall order given the quality of opposition, participating will certainly earn Kenya more FIVB ranking points that will further consolidate Malkia Strikers’ status as number one in Africa.
FIVB is keen to support Kenya’s road to Paris through the transformational Volleyball Empowerment Programme. It’s up to KVF to put its house in order by concluding the small matter of elections and shift focus to according Malkia Strikers the much-needed support for this mission.
Cameroon have already begun preparations under coach Jean Rene Akono as he continues rebuilding his team.
Our local league has given our local based players a good platform to stay in competition shape and the foreign legion led by star opposite Sharon Chepchumba is also enjoying rich form abroad.
KVF should now put it’s house in order and set the ball rolling. The clock is ticking!