Mercy Moim in action for Kenya against FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix Group 3 opponents Mexico
Lausanne, Switzerland, August 21 - After winning FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix Group 3, Mercy Moim and Kenya now have the FIVB Volleyball Women's World Cup in their sights. And the "Malika Strikers" could cause a few surprises in Japan. Moim speaks here about her team's chances and about her dreams for the future.What does it mean for you to play the World Cup?Mercy Moim:
It's a dream for every player. It's a fresh and special thing for me.
How important was the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix Group 3 win for African volleyball?
Moim: It was tough - Peru, Australia and all the other teams played their hearts out. The win made us realise it doesn't matter where you originate from, all dreams can come true. It has enhanced our confidence as a team. We now have that extra energy to push for more glory globally.
How satisfied are you with the performance of the team this season and your own contribution?
Moim: I think the team has done a great job. Personally, I led on points at the World Grand Prix. It wouldn't have been possible without the rest of the team however.
How important is the World Cup for your team this year?
Moim: We are focused on causing surprises. We have won the African Championship and World Grand Prix Group 3. It's now time we take on this World Cup.
How do you rate your team's chances of winning one of the two Olympic berths?
Moim: I'll give my team 80 per cent. It's going to be a hard one though.
Which teams are the favourites at the World Cup? Could you describe the strengths of the main teams like USA, China, Russia?
Moim: I have a lot of respect for Russia and China, but I think USA have got what it takes to go all the way. Strength comes with good preparation both physically and mentally. The main teams especially Russia, USA and China have got speed and everyone is fit for the game.
What are your main goals over the next two years?
Moim: This year I'm hoping we move a step higher in the world ranking. Personally I think we are doing well. We have our junior team playing All African Games this month - I hope next year new players get promoted to the senior team and from there more good results will flow.
Are the Olympics already the big topic in the team? Your goal for 2016?
Moim: Everyone is hoping to be part of the Olympics. That alone is helping us switch to a higher gear.
What has been your most important victory as a player?
Moim: That would be the 2013/14 MVP at the African Nations Cup.
How long are you planning to play? Is Tokyo 2020 also a goal for you?
Moim: I'm still fresh for the game and hope to play ten more years from now before I start thinking about retirement. Yes, 2020 is still real for me as a player.
How do you rate the importance of the FIVB World Cup?
Moim: This is a platform where all players really wish to be. It provides great exposure for players and you know the best teams will be there.
Why did you choose volleyball as your sport?
Moim: I chose volleyball because it’s the best sport in the world - it’s kind of easy to get along. I know my talent is in volleyball too. I feel it's a special sport.
Please describe what you like about volleyball.
Moim: I'm strongly attracted to volleyball because of the kind of love it comes with. Watching a team like the USA play, you realise this. I actually hope to build a volleyball academy in Kenya someday once I have funds to start it with. There are many talented players in Kenya who could shock the volleyball world - all they need is proper training and a facility.
Are you looking forward to playing in Japan?
Moim: It's a special thing to play in Japan. We all know the kind of facilities Japan has. The feeling is awesome. Hoping for the best!