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Veteran Wacu joins Kenyan team, looks
forward to volleyball World Championships

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan setter Jane Wacu is hopeful her service will help her country register better performances at the World Volleyball Championships in Japan later this year.

Wacu, a former setter with Chamalieres (France), is back in Kenya to join the national team training camp in Nairobi from her current club, Seychelles champions Anse Royale (ARSU).

The World Championships, the flagship volleyball competition, will be held in six cities in Japan including Yokohama, Hamamatsu, Kobe, Nagoya, Osaka and Sapporo from Sept. 29 to Oct. 20.

Kenya, who qualified together with Cameroon to represent Africa at the championships, has been drawn in Pool D, which also has Serbia, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Kazakhstan.

Host Japan was paired with the Netherlands, Argentina, Germany, Cameroon and Mexico in Pool A. Reigning Olympic champion China and Italy will take on Turkey, Bulgaria, Canada and Cuba in Pool B while in Pool C, reigning world champion USA will play Russia, South Korea, Thailand, Azerbaijan and Trinidad and Tobago.

Pressure will be on the 2015 FIVB World Cup winner, 2016 Olympic champion and 2017 FIVB World Grand Champions Cup winner China to cement their grip at the top. The Chinese women’s team has won every major international volleyball title in each of the last three years and would love to continue that dominance in 2018.

The competition takes on even greater importance when you look at last season, when the Chinese had to settle for a disappointing fourth place at the final round of the last ever FIVB World Grand Prix on home soil in Nanjing.

This year’s Women’s World Championships has left China hungry to win gold again, after 32 years.



Kenya girls’ volleyball team pulls out of Africa Youth Games

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Financial constraints have forced Kenya’s girls’ volleyball team to pull out of the Africa Youth Games, which will be held in Algiers, Algeria from July 17-27.

Kenya Volleyball Federation Secretary General Ben Juma confirmed Wednesday they had failed to secure the team’s sponsorship.

Kenya had initially failed to secure direct qualification to the Africa Youth Games having lost to Egypt in Zone Five qualification in Kampala.

However, Confederation of African Volleyball (CAVB) granted Kenya a second chance after Madagascar withdrew from the tournament.

Kenya are the event silver medalist after losing to Egypt in the 2014 finals in Gaborone, Botswana. Madagascar had been selected to represent Zone Seven after winning in the qualifiers but opted out of the games.

“It is a pity that the government had already made up its budget for the games and our late qualification cannot be factored. Kenya had benefited from the withdrawal of Madagascar and it was a good opportunity for the young players,” said Juma Wednesday in Nairobi.

Kenya will instead send two teams of beach volleyball players (girls and boys) to the tournament hoping to expose them to the best in the continent.

“The KVF National Executive Council has opted to field a beach volleyball teams. They are few and their budget is friendly to the pocket,” he added.

Kenya’s girls’ team had been drawn in Pool A against hosts Algeria, Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Pool B has Cameroon, Tunisia, Egypt and Botswana.

CAVB has not confirmed if they will fill the open vacancy after Kenya’s withdrawal.

Kenya government is yet to announce the budget for the games though National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) who are organizing the country’s team have indicated they want to send as many athletes as possible to Algeria.

KVF has since appointed beach volleyball expert Sammy Mulinge, who is based in Mombasa, to coach the team.

The team will start their training on Monday in Nairobi before moving to Mombasa.

The best two boys and girls team from Algeria will secure automatic place to compete at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina in October.

The Youth Olympic Games are an elite multisport international event for the world’s best young athletes between the ages of 15-18.

Buenos Aires 2018 will mark the first time that an Olympic event has had an equal number of women and men athletes. There will be 1,999 women and 1,999 men competing in the 32 sports from Oct. 6-18. .



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