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Kenya women team to miss Montreux Volley Masters

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s women’s volleyball team has been omitted from the Montreux Masters, an international friendly tournament that brings together top continental teams led by Olympic champions China ahead of the world championships in Japan.

The Montreux Masters will be held this weekend in Montreux, Switzerland. With Kenya not making the cut, organizers have instead chosen African champions Cameroon to be one of the eight teams taking part in the competition.

They will be joined by China, Brazil, Italy and hosts Switzerland.

Six of the eight participating teams will use the tournament to test their readiness for the upcoming women’s world championship , which will run from Sept 29 to Oct 20 in Japan.

“We were not invited, but it would have been the best place to gauge our performances and speed. Playing against the biggest teams like China is a bonus and good for the preparations for the world championships,” said David Lunh’aho, Kenya’s national team technical director.

Instead Lunh’aho said Kenya will be looking forward to having their own preparations and build up matches in Japan.

China will face their biggest test yet when they play Switzerland in Pool A of the Montreux Masters as well as Turkey and Italy. All four teams will be heading to Japan for the world championships.

These three sides will be in the same group (Pool B) at the world championships next month.

Brazil will be the leaders in the second group in Montreux where they will face Russia. Continental champions Cameroon will become the first African team to take part in the Montreux Volley Masters.

Poland are the only team in the pool who will not be playing at the world championships.

In addition to fine-tuning their performance ahead of the world championships, Brazil will face the task of defending their 2017 Montreux Masters title. “The Montreux Volley Masters will serve as a barometer for the main competition of the season and it will help us know what we need to improve on for the future,” said Brazil’s coach Jose Roberto Guimaraes.

The world championships has 24 teams with the top three gaining automatic qualification to the 2020 Japan Olympic Games.

Kenya is pooled in Group D alongside Brazil, Serbia, Kazakhstan, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. 



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