2017-07-29 11:59:00 CET
Makokha and Too have made history with their country’s first appearance at a World Championships
Grinning from ear to ear is not the usual reaction to defeat in a match but, for Gaudencia Makokha and Naomie Too, this was no ordinary occasion.
For the Kenyans, this was not only their the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships presented by A1 debut, but a moment of history for their country in their very first entry in the competition.
And with the current world champion in Agatha Bednarczuk on the other side of the net, they couldn’t have asked for a grander welcome in Vienna.
The result wasn’t to go their way, losing 21-7, 21-8 to the current holder and her new partner Eduarda "Duda" Lisboa, but when it came down to priorities for the day, the scoreline didn’t fall anywhere near the top.
“We are so glad to be in Vienna, it’s our first time here and we’re so happy to be here,” explained Makokha.
“This is good exposure for us, we are proud to play with champions and interact with people from all over the world. We are so glad.
“We feel so great to play against them, we really enjoyed the first game and we hope that can continue to enjoy the tournament throughout.”
Beach volleyball is not the only strength of Makokha and Too, also keen and able athletes who took part in their first FIVB competition at the 2013 under-23 World Championship in Poland.
But a chance to take their sport onto the world stage was something even more special – with their bid to spread the Kenyan beach volleyball message far from over just yet.
Their next taste of action is not far away either, back on court on Sunday against Dutch duo Madelein Meppelink and Sophie van Gestel before facing Canada’s Julie Gordon and Camille Saxton in their last pool match.
“To be the first Kenyans here is so great, we are representing our country and to fly the flag of two million people in Kenya, we are so proud,” added Too.
“The fans like people from Africa. In Kenya, we are known for our athletics, but here it is beach volleyball – they get to see us for the first time in the World Championships.”
Makokha and Too continue their maiden tournament on Sunday, at 5pm CET, with all their matches available on BeachStream. Click here to sign-up!
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