African teams intensify training ahead of World Champ qualifiers
Cairo, Egypt, January 10, 2014 - Twenty nine men's and women's African teams are in full preparation ahead of the third and final round of the FIVB Volleyball World Championships 2014 African qualifiers scheduled in February and March in three different countries.
Fifteen teams will be participating in the men's qualifiers and will be divided into three pools of five. The winner of each pool will secure a ticket to the finals in Poland, which will take place from August 30 to September 21.
The women's third round qualifiers feature 14 teams and are divided into two pools where the winner of both will clinch a ticket to the finals in Italy, which will be held from September 23 to October 12.
Kenya will start the qualification programme on February 5, 2014 when they host the Men's Pool U qualification tournament in presence of Egypt, Botswana, Zambia and Cape Verde beside the organizers.
Kenya men’s volleyball team has intensified training following a confirmation of dates. Head coach Gideon Chenje said there was no time to waste since the February 5-11 dates were very close.
“We must do everything in a hurry because the qualifiers are just around the corner. We need to do our best in this event.” Chenje said.
Most of the players had reported to camp on Thursday and Chenje encouraged the rest to move fast and join the training.
“I urge those players who are not yet here to hurry up and join us as we want to train as a full team,” he said in Nyayo on Friday.
Chenje’s other desire is that foreign-based professionals – Philip Maiyo and Mike Chemos who are both based in Turkey – join the team as soon as possible.
He confirmed that John Ndung’u, who plays beach volleyball in Italy, will arrive in Nairobi on January 18.
“We’re yet to know the arrival dates of Chemos and Maiyo but I’m certain they will be here on time,” he said.
Commenting on the CAVB decision to settle on Kenya as Pool U hosts, Chenje said they would not rely on home advantage in their pursuit of qualifying for the Worlds.
Kenyan volleyball fans have been waiting to see the national men’s team play competitive continental matches at home. The last time they watched such action was during the 1987 All African Games that were staged in Nairobi.
Cameroon will organise the men’s first group (Pool T) on February 12-18, with the participation of Algeria, Nigeria, Rwanda and Gabon besides the organisers.
The hosts who created history at the FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship Italy 2010 when they qualified for the second round are now in training action to prepare for the event with full power.
The Cameroon Volleyball Federation called on the foreign based stars to join the team in enough time ahead of the qualifier as they constitute most of the line up. They want to improve on the disappointing finish of the fourth place at the 2013 African Nations Championship in Tunisia.
Algeria, who will be the main competitors for Cameroon in this group, start the preparation on January 11 in a camp in Setif. Head coach Mourad Sennoun selected 16 players for the preliminary squad from local clubs. The preparation will continue until the tournament to be held from February 12 to 18, 2014.
Tunisia will host the third group Pool V in which they will battle it out against the Seychelles, Congo Brazzaville, Senegal and Niger for a ticket to the worlds. The 2013 African Nations silver medallists are favourites to clinch the World Championships ticket on offer.