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Kenya’s volleyball team lands tough pool in continental tourney

Kenya will tackle defending champions Egypt on Wednesday night in their opening match of the 2015 Men’s African Nations Championship in Cairo, Egypt. The other teams in the pool are Algeria and Botswana.

Pool B features the 2013 runners up Tunisia, alongside Morocco, Mauritius, Cameroon and Rwanda.

The 2015 Men’s African Nations Championship acts as a qualifier for the 2015 World Cup with the winners and runners up booking their tickets to the finals.

The 20th edition of the competition will see all the previous champions battling it out for the title led by the record winners Tunisia who have eight titles under their belts seven-time champions Egypt, who have won the last five editions. Algeria and Cameroon have each won the crown twice.

The Kenyan squad of 12 alongside technical bench members arrived in Cairo on Monday and head coach Geoffrey Omondi has a tough task of ensuring that his men perform well.

The bar has been raised high for the team whose best performance is a bronze medal at the 2010 All African Games in Maputo, Mozambique.

UNDER PRESSURE

The team will be under immense pressure to emulate their female counterparts who recently won a maiden international crown by topping Group 3 of this season’s FIVB Grand Prix in Australia.

Last month, the African Queens also bagged a ninth CAVB women Africa Cup of Nations title at the Safaricom Indoor Arena in Nairobi.

Omondi and his assistants Gideon Tarus and David Muthui will count on the experience of Philip Maiyo in their quest for glory.

Other players in Omondi’s roster are Dennis Mokua, James Ontere, Wesley Rono, David Kirwa, Faustine Barasa, Gideon Kiprono and Elias Aliwa. Also in the team is team is Daniel Kiptoo, Hudson Wanyama, Michael Chemos and Michael Njoroge.

In an interview with Nairobi News before the team’s departure, Kenya Volleyball Federation boss, Waithaka Kioni, said the team is well prepared for a good outing.

“We are giving the team as much support as we can. We want to see if they can improve on their performance. We are trying to get them a sponsor, but again the sponsors want results, so it is a challenge on them to perform,” Kioni  said.

Pool A:

Egypt

Algeria

Kenya

Botswana

Pool B:

Tunisia

Morocco

Mauritius

Cameroon

Rwandal Chemos and Michael Njoroge.