NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Nine-time African champions Kenya are out to
qualify for the second round of the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Women’s
World Championship that kicks off in Japan next Saturday (Sept.
Speaking ahead of
their departure from Nairobi on Thursday evening, head coach
Japheth Munala is targeting at least two victories in their Pool
B to advance past the preliminary stage of the competition they
are returning for the first time since 2010.
“Our strategy is to
go for victory against Puerto Rico, Kazakhstan and Dominican
Republic and try to contain Brazil and Serbia who are world
powers. We are not going to underrate any side, every game will
be like a final to us,” Munala stressed.
He explained the
team prepared for the worlds by taking on male sides to help
them fortify their strength as they seek to make an impact at
the global showpiece.
attacker Mercy Moim who plays for Azerrail Baku in Azerbaijan,
will captain the side that features setters Jane Wacu and Janet
Wanja who competed at the 2010 showpiece.
best blocker Edith Wisah of Kenya Prisons, will play middle role
alongside Trizah Atuka of Kenya Pipeline, Lorine Chebet
(Prisons) and Christine Siwa (KCB).
Moim will partner
with Noel Murambi (Pipeline), Sharon Chepchumba (Prisons) and
Leonida Kasaya (KCB) in left attacking.
Right attackers are
Violet Makuto and Emmaculate Chemtai while Elizabeth Wanyama and
Agripina Kundu will play libero.
Chepchumba, who was
voted Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association’s Most Valuable
Player in 2017 and Chebet, all formerly of Kwathanze Girls
Secondary School, are the surprise inclusions.
Kenya will play
their opener against Kazakhstan (Sept. 29) before locking horns
with Serbia the next day, with Puerto Rico, Brazil and Dominican
Republic following in that order on Oct. 1, 3 and 4.
Kenya missed the
last world championships held in Italy in 2014 after making
their debut in 1994, and having competed in the worlds in 1998,
2002, 2006 and 2010 at the height of their supremacy over
competition, to run for 21 days, will be held in the cities of
Yokohama, Hamamatsu, Kobe, Nagoya, Osaka and Sapporo.
Underdog Kenya departs for
Japan, targets second round at volleyball worlds
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Kenya head coach Japheth Munala has warned his
side not to focus on past glories, but target conquering new
frontiers as they line up among the 24 teams for the World
Championships in Japan, which starts from Sept. 29 to Oct. 20.
Kenya is returning
to the World Championships after eight years, but Munala says
this does not take the gloss off their shinny amour and warned
the underdog status will play well to their advantage as they
come up against experienced giants.
“It is easy to
target to claim maximum points against us. But we know our game
and we will dig deep to claim a few scalps,” said Munala
Thursday in Nairobi. “Underrate us at your own peril, because we
qualified by merit.”
contingent of 20, 14 players and six officials, jet out Thursday
for Japan and the coach says they are nearing their peak form.
“The squad has gone
through training well and we are all ready to ramble. There were
two injury concerns for our setter Jane Wacu and Leonida Kasaya.
But both have shaken off their problems and they are ready for
the action,” he added.
Kenya is the second
team from Africa with their other colleagues being Cameroon. The
team is targeting to finish in the top four positions in their
pool to qualify for the second round matches and remain on
course to claim a shot at the Main Cup title.
Kenya is in Pool D
alongside former champions Brazil, Serbia, Dominican Republic,
Puerto Rico and Kazakhstan.
“We are set for the
championship and the underdog tag will help us triumph in Japan.
At least I will only be focusing on the second round and once I
achieve that then we can think of winning the title. Kenya is
parading a young team and we are not afraid to challenge the
giants and carve our own niche,” said Munala.
Former Kenyan coach
Sadatoshi Sugawara from japan has organized for the team some
build up matches against local teams to help the team remain
focused and sharp ahead of the tournament, which starts on Sept
Kenya’s first game
will be against Kazakhstan on Sept 29 before confronting Serbia
a day later. They will then face Puerto Rico, Brazil and the
Dominican Republic in other preliminary matches.