NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s women’s volleyball team will miss the
services of veteran attacker Praxicedes Agala as it named a
28-person team to start preparations ahead of their return to
the World Championships in Japan.
The team, which is
the most successful from Africa, will be making their sixth
appearance at the World Championships.
Head coach David
Lung’aho believes the team has what it takes to get back to
former glories at the global premier competition. “We have a
long way to go, but we are making strides each day and I believe
with good preparations, we will be able to beat a few teams in
our group and gain some respect,” Lung’aho said in Nairobi on
Kenya, who qualified
for the World Championships as the second best team after they
lost to Cameroon in the finals of the Africa Nations Cup, holds
a rich history at the global competition.
The team, also known
as the Malkia Strikers, has won eight African crowns,
participated twice at the Olympics, has five World Championships
appearances and five appearances at the World Cup.
The last time Kenya
competed at an international championship was in the 2011 World
Cup in Japan. However, the team had good run at the World Grand
Prix in 2014-2015 before poor management and a lack of
government support saw its prospects plummet.
The coach has kept
his faith in veteran setter Jane Wacu as well as attacker Mercy
Moim. However, there is a blend of youth and experience as
Lung’aho hopes for a late blooming of his novice players to
steer the ship to safety in Japan.
The coach will have
one month training before he trims the team down to 22 and then
to the final 14 that will make the trip to Japan.
Kenya has been drawn
alongside former Olympic champions Brazil, European champions
Serbia, Kazakhstan, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.
Kenya qualified for the World Championships in Japan after
finishing second during the Africa Cup of Nations held in
At the last World
Championships in Japan in 2011, Kenya, Algeria, Canada and
Kazakhstan bowed out of the tournament without winning a single