What you need to know:
- The 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-14) victory over Egypt in the final on Thursday evening in Yaounde ensured the Queens of Africa booked the sole ticket reserved for Africa at next year's Paris Olympics.
- Malkia Strikers won a record-extending 10th African title, having last won it in 2015, to top the African continent in the FIVB rankings.
Gallant Kenya women's volleyball team, Malkia Strikers, were on Saturday morning accorded heroic reception at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi after jetting back from Cameroon where they won the African Nations Championship.
The 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-14) victory over Egypt in the final on Thursday evening in Yaounde ensured the Queens of Africa booked the sole ticket reserved for Africa at next year's Paris Olympics.
Malkia Strikers won a record-extending 10th African title, having last won it in 2015, to top the African continent in the FIVB rankings.
The team touched down at 1:24am to a rousing welcome.
Family and friends defied the countrywide blackout to hand the triumphant Kenyans lasses a benefiting welcome.
The team was welcomed by government officials led by Deputy Commissioner of Sports Jaxon Indakwa, National Olympic Committee Kenya representative John Ogolla, KVF second vice president Kenneth Tonui, treasurer Bernard Musumba, Sports Organising Secretary John Ajole, deputy organising secretary Alfred Chedotum, Committee Members Neddy Nelimo and Wachira Gatuiria and female athletes representative Brackcidise Agala.
"I'm honoured that I was elected as the federation deputy president in absentia, and within that period, alongside the Brazilian tacticians, we guided the team to reclaim the African title and qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics and the FIVB World Championship," Malkia Strikers assistant coach Paul Bitok said.
"It's a good feeling that I step into administration with Malkia Strikers having qualified for Olympics. During the championship, we won all the matches and gave away only two sets, a testament that we have come of age and I want to thank the government through the Ministry of Sports, NOC-K, Mozzart Bet and the federation for their unwavering support and more so the players. This title is yours," said Bitok.
Tonui thanked the players for sacrificing over two months away from their families saying their efforts were not in vain.
"We laud the players for putting up the fight to clinch the title. We are extremely happy that NOC-K and the government are keen to have Malkia Strikers training programme in earnest so that they can start preparation for the Olympics," said Tonui.
Indakwa, who was representing Sport Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba, said the government was determined to accord the team the much-needed support going forward.
"We are committed to the course of ensuring the team prepares well for the Olympics. But first things first, through Talent Hela we intend to host the team to a breakfast or luncheon soon to appreciate their work and see what to do in the coming days," said Indakwa.
Team's captain Mercy Moim thanked players and the technical bench for the good performance.