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Kenya facing elimination from women’s
under-20 Africa Cup volleyball

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya must beat Cameroon if they are to retain any hope of reaching the semifinals of the Under-20 women’s volleyball Africa Nations Championship in Nairobi.

Kenya’s cruise was halted by Nigeria on Wednesday when they lost 3-1 with scores of 19-25, 26-24, 25-18 and 25-23.

Head coach Paul Gitau has not given up hope and believes his side will find the extra strength to make the last four.

“We still have our chances. A win against Cameroon will see us finish second in our pool and that is enough to secure us a ticket to the semifinals,” said Gitau on Thursday in Nairobi.

Favorites Cameroon are yet to lose a match, having defeated Nigeria and Tanzania, and will be looking to put the final nail in Kenya’s coffin.

However, having already secured qualification to the semifinals, there is a possibility that Cameroon may field a weakened side in their tie with Kenya, though Gitau is not banking on this eventuality.

“It is down to us and not on expecting Cameroon to field a weakened side. We need to work hard and rectify our previous mistakes to win the match,” Gitau said.

Nigeria, who lost their opening match against Cameroon, will be hoping Kenya stumble against their West African opponents.

Should Kenya qualify, they will be up against defending champions Egypt, who currently lead Pool B after winning three consecutive matches.

Rwanda sailed through as Pool B runners-up after edging Uganda in straight sets on Wednesday. The other team in the group is Mauritius.

Egypt have won the age group competition since 2002. However, Cameroon and Nigeria stand out as strong challengers for the title, and will take their fight to the Pharaohs’ doorstep.

Both Sunday’s finalists will secure a direct ticket to the World Under-20 Championships next year in Japan.



Egypt and Rwanda secure tickets to women’s Under-20 volleyball World C’ships

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Egypt and Rwanda will represent Africa at the women’s under-20 World Championships to be played in Mexico in 2019 after they placed top two in the Africa championships here on Saturday.

From a total of nine teams after the week-long competition, the defending champion Egypt and Rwanda secured the ticket to the global championships as the best two sides.

The other teams taking part in the competition are Uganda, Mauritius, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), hosts Kenya, Nigeria and Cameroon.

“It is a great honor for our young team to have come this far. I am happy to announce that Rwanda and Egypt qualified for the FIVB Volleyball Women’s U-20 World Championship in Mexico 2019,” said Rwanda volleyball coach Paul Bitok here on Saturday.

Egypt, who have won the tournament three consecutive times since 2012, captured their ticket to the final of the Women’s U20 African Nations Championship following their victory over Nigeria on Friday. The defending champions proved their dominance after they beat Nigeria in straight sets 25-7, 25-11, 25-8.

Rwanda surprised dark horses Cameroon 28-26, 23-25, 25-21 and 25-22 in the other semifinal to qualify for their first ever African Nations final.

On Sunday, Egypt will face Rwanda for the gold medal while Cameroon meet Nigeria for the bronze medal.

In the classification matches, Kenya beat Mauritius 25-14, 25-22, 25-18 for the fifth to eighth play-off rankings while DRC overcame Tanzania 23-25, 25-17, 25-19,25-20. Kenya will now play DRC while Tanzania line up against Mauritius.



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