Kenya's Malkia Strikers top in Africa in latest rankings

Sunday February 2 2020

Malkia Strikers players led by captain Mercy Moim celebrate after getting the Tokyo Olympics ticket at Palais polyvalent des sports (Paposy) Arena on January 9, 2020. PHOTO | SAMUEL GACHARIRA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Malkia Strikers players led by captain Mercy Moim celebrate with the Daruma (regarded as a talisman of good luck in traditional Japanese culture, symbolising perseverance, good luck and encouragement) after getting the Tokyo Olympics ticket at Palais polyvalent des sports (Paposy) Arena on January 9, 2020. PHOTO | SAMUEL GACHARIRA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

AGNES MAKHANDIA
By AGNES MAKHANDIA
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Kenya women’s national volleyball team Malkia Strikers have dropped four places in the latest FIVB rankings released on Sunday.

Kenya now sits in position 23 with 141 points, one ahead of rivals Cameroon who are 24th with 134 points.

In the previous release, the East Africans were ranked 19th with 42 points while Cameroon were 17th with 52 points.

The ranking comes in the wake of Kenya having sealed the sole ticket reserved for Africa to the July 24 to August 9 Tokyo Olympic Games.

The development saw Kenya return to Olympics after 16-year hiatus as they overpowered hosts Cameroon, Egypt, Botswana and Nigeria during the Africa Olympic qualifiers last month. Kenya last participated in the Summer Games in 2004 in Athens.

However, Kenya is the highest ranked nation from African Volleyball Confederation with 180 points thanks to their participation in the African Games, Africa Cup of Nations, Intercontinental Olympics qualifier as well as World Cup.

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Kenya is followed by Cameroon who have 171 points while Algeria wrap up the top three positions with 116 points. Egypt and Senegal are placed fourth and fifth with 110 points each respectively.

China, United states of America and two-time Olympic gold medallists Brazil, complete the world's top three, with Italy, Turkey, Serbia, Japan, Russia, Dominican Republic and South Korea making it into the top 10 in that order.

Kenya men's team are not ranked in the global standings but are placed 13th in Africa.

Tunisia (204), Egypt (161) and Cameroon (150) occupy the first three positions in Africa, while Uganda are 17th and Rwanda 11th.

The new decision of the FIVB Board of Administration will see the new World Ranking system implemented from February 1 and will take into account all results from January 1.

However, for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games grouping, the previous World Ranking will be applied, based on the rankings as of January 31.

While at the Continental level, rankings filter the World Ranking points won and lost in matches played between teams from the same Continental Confederation.

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