The Kenyan women’s volleyball team will barely have time to relax and reflect on their successful cruise at the Africa Games before turning up for the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Cup preparations.
The team, which arrives in Nairobi later on Monday, will only take two days off, according to Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) president Waithaka Kioni.
“We probably will give them two days to rest and shake off the jetlag. The team must resume training immediately because we have a strong competition lined up at the World Cup,” said Kioni on Monday.
Kenya will be thrown in the deep end in the opening match of the World Cup as they start their campaign on Sept. 14 against FIVB Volleyball Nations League champions the United States in Hamamatsu.
Japan will host Cameroon, Russia, South Korea and the Dominican Republic in Yokohama, while U.S., Kenya, Argentina, the Netherlands, Serbia and Brazil will play in Hamamatsu from Sept. 14 to 19.
Then the Dominican Republic, Kenya, China, Brazil, USA and Japan travel to Sapporo, while South Korea, Argentina, Cameroon, the Netherlands, Russia and Serbia go to Toyama from Sept. 2 to 24.
The final stage in the women’s tournament will have all the teams staying in Osaka from September 27 to 29.
“Kenya will be playing against the best in the world and while our game is starting to grow, we stand little chance against the giants like China, Brazil and the United States. But it will be a learning process for the players. They will get a chance to expose themselves to the best. I don’t anticipate a podium finish for Kenya,” said Kioni.
However, Kioni said after the World Cup, their target will be to reclaim Africa’s ticket to the Olympics.
“Our main target is the Olympics. We want to win the Africa qualifiers in January and return to the Olympics. That is the target we have set for new coach Paul Bitok,” said Kioni.
The Women’s World Cup will take place in five cities in Japan, including Yokohama, Hamamatsu, Sapporo, Toyama and Osaka.