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‘Malkia Strikers’ shift focus to World cup, Olympic qualifiers

Nairobi, Thursday @PeopleSport11

Kenya women’s volleyball team will turn its focus to the African Cup of Nations, World Cup and the Olympic Games qualifiers after failing to progress from Group D of the ongoing FIVB Volleyball World Championships in Japan.

David Lung’aho, the team’s technical director, said on Tuesday that Kenya has learned from their unsuccessful World Championship campaign, and must utilise the lessons learned in Japan in order to have a stronger team in 2019.

“The players gave a strong performance in Japan despite missing out on second round qualification. Young players like Chepchumba (Sharon) and Kasaya (Leonida) proved their mettle as the future of the Kenya team, despite it being their debut show on the global stage,” Lung’aho said on Tuesday in Nairobi. “We intended to engage them in more international matches to help them gain more experience ahead of next year’s Olympics qualifications.”

Kenya face a daunting task to reaffirm their prowess as the giants of volleyball in Africa. The new season will start with World Cup qualifiers in March, where the top three teams will qualify for the finals in Japan.

This will then be followed by the 2020 Olympic Games qualifiers in September. “The team requires general polish, in reception and attack departments. We will be working on that going forward. Importantly, next year we have a busy schedule and with this team, we hope to qualify for the Olympics, make it to the World Cup and at the same time reclaim our position as first in Africa.”

Kenya lost to Cameroon in the Africa Cup of Nations in 2017 and Lung’aho believes the squad will have grown in strength and skills to recapture the continental title. In the World Championships.                                     -XINHUA

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