Eager to succeed where the juniors failed, the national senior women's volleyball team Saturday intensified training at the Kasarani Stadium indoor arena ahead of the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship which serves off on September 29 in Japan.
The junior team’s quest to make a debut in the global stage aborted two weeks ago after they finished fifth in the African qualifiers hosted in Nairobi, thereby gifting Egypt and neighbours Rwanda the golden chance to represent the continent in next year’s FIVB women's Under-20 World Championship.
The senior team will therefore be looking to save the blushes by giving a good account of themselves as they return to the global competition after an eight-year absence.
Award winning setter Janet Wanja sat out the day’s training session with pain on her fingers, and was attendee to by the team’s physiotherapist who said that she will be fit to return to training by Monday.
The rest of the team, including award winning setter Jane Wacu, who has been fighting rumours of retirement, went through their paces under the tutelage of coach Japheth Munala.
"Reception is what we are concentrating on at the moment because in most instances we’ve ended up losing crucial matches because of poor reception. We have perfected the other areas including blocking and attacking so by the time we leave for Japan I’d like to have polished our reception,” Munala said during a Saturday morning training session at Kasarani.
Malkia Strikers, who will be making their fourth successive appearance at the global competition, are scheduled to leave the country on September 18 for Japan, where they will hold an intensive 10-day training camp hosted by Japanese coach Sadatoshi Sugawara.
The training camp is meant to help the team acclimatise to the humid Japan weather, although four friendly matches have been lined up for them before World Championship serves off.
The African Queens are in Pool D alongside world-beaters Serbia and Brazil as well as Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Kazakhstan.
They will launch their campaign for the title with a match against Kazakhstan on September 29, before confronting Serbia a day later.
They will then face Puerto Rico, champions Brazil and Dominican Republic in other preliminary matches.
Cameroon is the other African team that will represent the continent.
Jane Wacu, Janet Wanja, Trizah Atuka , Edith Wisa, Lorine Chebet, Chrsitine Siwa, Mercy Moim, Noel Murambi, Sharon Chepchumba, Leonida Kasaya, Violet Makuto , Emmaculate Chemtai, Elizabeth Wanyama, Aggripina Kundu