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Agala, Makokha battle sweltering Tokyo heat

Agala, Makokha battle sweltering Tokyo heat

Kenyan beach volleyball team members Gaudencia Makokha (left) and Bracksides Agala stretch during a training session at the Tokyo Olympic Games beach volleyball venue o July 20, 2021.

Photo credit: Elias Makori | Nation Media Group

My mobile telephone abruptly stopped working as I recorded videos of Kenya’s beach volleyball team players Gaudencia Makokha and Bracksides Agala at Tokyo’s Shiozake Park yesterday.

“Phone too hot. Please allow it to cool down to continue recording,” a message popped up on the fairly resilient OPPO Reno5’s screen.

The OPPO Reno5 has served me well, its LED flash, HDR panorama camera allowing me to record the broadcast quality videos that I’ve filed for our various platforms, including random NTV updates.

That the device stalled in the heat explains the intensity of the temperature here, with Tokyo recording 35 degrees on the thermometer yesterday and the Japanese capital’s humidity adding to the tribulations of athletes preparing for the Olympic Games.

Little wonder the marathon and race walk conditions were shifted to Sapporo on health grounds, to protect the athletes.

“The most important thing is sleeping early and drinking water,” Makokha explained her mitigation against the heat courtside yesterday.

“Because with this heat, if you don’t drink a lot of water then you will have a hard time during the championship or during the training. So you have to take care of your body. Sleep early, drink a lot of water and rest. That is the secret.

“I think it is early to tell. We will have a feel of the championship after we play the first match. We will take one game at a time. You can’t tell whether you will be knocked out and yet you have not even played the first match. It is about taking one match at a time.”

The 28-year-old Kenya Pipeline Volleyball Club player wouldn’t be drawn into predicting the tournament’s outcome, saying the first match against Brazil on July 26 will set the mood.

“I think it is early to tell. We will have a feel of the championship after we play the first match. We will take one game at a time.

“You can’t tell whether you will be knocked out and yet you have not even played the first match. It is about taking one match at a time.”

Her teammate Agala also lamented about the heat, but added that it’s a common problem for all teams and that it’s down to who will cope best with the conditions.

“The heat is just too much. The sun is just too hot. But then, this is the situation we find ourselves in and therefore, we just have to adapt,” the Kenya Prisons Service veteran said.

“This is the kind of weather for beach volleyball.”

Agala, who has been a central figure in Kenya’s women’s volleyball team “Malkia Strikers” said it hasn’t been too challenging shifting codes to beach volleyball.

Agala and Makokha face Brazilians Ana Patricia and Rebecca Cavalcante in their opening match on July 26 before taking on USA’s pair of Kelly Clases and Sarah Sponsil on July 29.

They wrap up their Pool ‘D’ assignments against Latvia’s Anastasija Kravcenoka and Tina Graudina on July 31.

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