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Kenya start journey to 2006 World Championships in Japan

Nairobi, Kenya, July 6, 2005 - The Kenyan national women’s Volleyball team has started training at Kasarani in preparation for the third and final 2006 Women’s World Championships first round tournament in Africa – Pool B, which will take place in Nairobi, Kenya from July 20-24 and has on offer one ticket to the finals, which will take place in Japan next year.

Egypt and Cameroon have already clinched a berth in the final round and now Kenya (ranked 20th in the world), Algeria (39), Dem. Rep. of Congo (56), Congo and Eritrea (both do not have official world rankings) have the chance to play for the final remaining African vacancy.

Leading Kenya’s provisional team of 18 players are four Olympians, Dorcas Ndasaba, Judith Serenge, Violet Baraza and Mercy Wesutila who have represented the country in the Sydney and Athens Olympic Games. Janet Wanja who made her maiden appearance at the Athens Olympic Games is also in the team.
Pic: Kenya's Judith Serenge (18) sets to Gladys Nasikanda (15) during the Athens Olympics where Kenya finished 11th
Other players in the provisional squad which will be coached by David Lung’aho assisted by Sammy Mulinge and Paul Bitok as trainer are, Esther Jepkosgei, Jackline Baraza, Esther Munyasia, Judith Tarus, Catherine Wanjiru, Sarah Chepchumba, Emilly Chemutai, Lucy Chege, Salome Wanja, Asha Makuto, Rael Rotich, Phylis Mutembete and Doris Muyeko.

Kenya as a country has done Africa proud in that it has represented the continent at three previous World Championships and it has also sent the women’s national team to two Olympic Games in Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 thus making it a Volleyball powerhouse in this region and indeed the African continent.

"The coaches have faith in the players they have selected," Kenya Volleyball Federation secretary general Jacob Owiti said. "The role of selecting the provisional and the final team has been left to the coaches and it will now be up to individual players to fight for a slot in the final 12 slots since Kenya as a country is stopping at nothing to ensure that the team reaches the World Championship final round in Japan next year.”