Wed, 28 Sep 2022

NAIROBI, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's women's volleyball team has set a minimum target of progressing from the opening phase of the World Championship that kicks off on Friday in the Netherlands.

Known as the Malkia Strikers, the Kenyan team travel to the Netherlands on Tuesday from their training base in Belgrade, Serbia, and begin their Pool A campaign against the host nation in the opening clash.

Head coach Paul Bitok, who is closely working with the Brazilian technical bench, has named a mix of young and senior players in the team, including five debutants: Veronica Adhiambo, Veronica Kilabat, Emmaculate Nekesa, Magdalene Sande and Belinda Barasa.

"The team's minimum target will be to get to the second round, and this will mean they have to win at least two matches to stand a realistic chance," Bitok stated in a statement released by the National Olympics Committee of Kenya (NOCK).

Seasoned players Sharon Chepchumba, who recently signed a professional deal with Greek side Aris Thessaloniki, and captain Mercy Moim are also on the team.

Kenya participated in a warm-up tournament in Serbia to measure their level of preparedness after a two-month training camp in Brazil.

In Brazil, the nine-time African champions were trained by four top Brazilian coaches led by Luizomar de Moura.

The 2019 Africa Games gold medalists landed in Belgrade from Brazil for their final preparations ahead of the World Championship which lasts until October 15.

On Monday, Kenya beat Serbia B team 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-11) in their final build-up match.

NOCK has funded the team's travel and allowances to the Netherlands as part of their support towards supporting their bid to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

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