By John Kwoba
NAIROBI, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- Kenya has been chosen ahead of Tunisia to host the final FIVB Women World Championships Group Two qualifiers in January in Nairobi.
Only two cities, Nairobi and Tunis, had put in bids to stage the tournament, in which the winner will qualify for the 2014 World Championships in Italy.
"Nairobi will be hosting the World Championships qualifiers in January after our bid was endorsed by Confederation of African Volleyball (CAVB)," said Evans Wasike, the Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) Secretary General on Sunday in Nairobi.
"This is a major event in the lander of Africa volleyball and we hope, it is a sign that our women team will emerge victorious and return to the World Championships after representing Africa, together with Tunisia and Egypt in 2006 and 2010 in Japan."
The tournament will bring together seven top countries, each eyeing the chance to claim the single slot, while Group One tournament will be in Cairo, while Group Three will be in Algeria.
Teams that will play in Group Two are hosts Kenya, Seychelles, Uganda, Tunisia, Senegal, Mozambique and Cape Verde.
The competition would be played on round robin format and ultimate winners earn automatic qualification to 2014 FIVB Women's World Championships to be hosted by Italy in October.
Kenya's head coach David Lung'aho said, it is an advantage for the country to stage the qualifiers. He said, though it comes with a sizeable amount of pressure, his team is strong enough to weather the storm and claim the single slot available.
"Playing at home gives us an edge over the rest of the teams. We've always played well before our home fans and this would not be exceptional," said Lung'aho.
Africa teams have struggled to make inroads at the global fiesta, but Kenya has shown the clearest sign they are ready to challenge the big teams having come close to winning in previous attempts. Lung'aho believes the experience the players have gained so far will benefit them as they search for their first victory on the world stage.
"We lost narrowly to Turkey, Puerto Rico and Netherlands previously. Now we want to take the game to them and see if we can break that jinx. But we have a small matter of qualifying from the group first before we think of the world stage," said Lung'aho.
The coach also said, the attachment of professional coach Ruiz Lozano of Argentina to the team has improved general skills of the playing unit and technical bench.
"First Lozano watched video of our national team play at recent African Cup of Nations to identify our weak points. He (Lozano) is convinced that most of our players can play at highest level if well trained," Lung'aho said.
Lung'aho indicated that after watching the video, Lozano identified reception as Kenya's most weak point.
Kenyan men's volleyball team has also reached the final round of the World Championships qualifiers. They are pooled together with Egypt, Botswana, Zambia and Cape Verde in the final qualifiers in Cairo also in January. Kenya men have never qualified for the World Championships.
Kenya enters 2014 FIVB volleyball World Grand Prix
NAIROBI, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's quest for international exposure got a shot in the arm on Tuesday after it was nominated to join Algeria as Africa representative in the lucrative World Volleyball Grand Prix in 2014.
Waithaka Kioni, the Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) chairman, expressed his happiness for the elevation of their women's team to the premier volleyball competition. Full story