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Kenya names women’s volleyball team for World Championships

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 Friday.

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 Cameroon.

At the last World Championships in Japan in 2011, Kenya, Algeria, Canada and Kazakhstan bowed out of the tournament without winning a single game.



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