NAIROBI, Kenya, August 26 – Africa’s best player at the just-concluded Africa Nations Volleyball Championship Sharon Jepchumba says she can’t wait to make her second appearance at next year’s Olympic Games in Paris, France.
The Greece-based player said she hopes to maintain her peak fitness or even get better in time for the quadrennial games, following her debut at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.
“This is the second time I will be at the Olympics. My prayer to God is to now remain in good health and continue working hard on the weak aspects of our game. This will enable us to go there and show Africa that we are the best,” Jepchumba said.
‘Chumba’, as she is fondly known, was voted the tournament’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) as Malkia Strikers thrashed North African giants Egypt 3-0 in Yaounde, Cameroon to win their 10th continental crown.
Nonetheless, Chumba was humble in her latest feat, adding that it would all have been a mirage had it not been for the teamwork spirit in the squad.
“The support they have given me is so important for me because for the first two matches I wasn’t there because of the injury. If they hadn’t played that well in those matches, we wouldn’t have been able to make it to the final. I say thank you to them and the technical bench even for this award because it was because of the teamwork spirit,” the Aris Thessaloniki player said.
Chumba added: “I want to say thank you to them because they have worked hard to make sure we are gaining step-by-step. They had the urge to make it to Olympics …and I also had the same. That was our focus and also to carry this trophy.”
Thirst is quenched
Speaking at the same time, team captain Mercy Moim expressed her ecstasy at finally lifting a trophy that has eluded the queens for quite some time.
“As the skipper of the team, mine is to thank the players for moving in the right direction. I am the senior most member of this squad and indeed we have fought so long for this title. It is wonderful to finally lift it,” the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) player said.
Moim admits she is reveling in the new role she played at the continental championship in which coach Luizomar de Moura assigned her to reception duties.
“There was Atuka (Triza), Vero (Veronicah Adhiambo) and Eddie (Edith Wisa) …they were responsible for attack. I told them to take care of that and I would take care of the reception to ensure everything was handled well during the game,” she added.
The team docked back into the country early Saturday morning at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).