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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenya’s Gitau to coach women’s U-20 volleyball team

By John Kwoba NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Former national women’s volleyball coach Paul Gitau has been appointed to guide Kenya’s U-20 team in the Africa Nations Championship, which will be held in Nairobi in August.

The tournament, which brings together the continent’s best teams, will see the winner secure a ticket to the world U-20 championships in China.

The Confederation of African Volleyball (CAVB) awarded the hosting rights for the junior women’s and men’s volleyball competition to Nairobi and Lagos respectively, during its congress last month in Cairo, Egypt. The women’s U-20 African Nations Championship will be held from August 24 to September 3.

“It will be a great challenge for me to guide the youth team to victory at home. We have to plan well because as hosts, Kenya will be under pressure to deliver the gold medal,” said Gitau on Tuesday in Nairobi.

“My past record speaks for itself. I have led the senior team to glory before and this puts me in pole position to guide this team to glory. I am ready for the assignment and hope Egypt and Cameroon will have their best players on show so that the best can win,” the new coach added.

Egypt are defending champions after winning the 2017 competition to represent Africa at the global championships.

“This is our chance to gain some revenge against Egypt. We can only hope for the best going forward,” said Gitau.

The technical bench will feature Gitau, together with Halima Bakari and Elisha Aliwa as his assistant coaches, while former international Catherine Mabwi serves as team manager.

Kenya is hopeful that renovation work in Nairobi’s stadiums will be complete in time for the competition.

Ben Juma, the Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) secretary general, said if the number of participating teams exceeds 12, the country will be stripped of the hosting rights as it lacks two functional indoor playing grounds.

Meanwhile, the U-23 African Nations Championships for both genders will not serve as a qualifying tournament for next year’s World Championship.

The global volleyball governing body has changed its rules and will now host the world championships every four years and not every two years as has been the case before.

             

 

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