Kenya Prisons eye fourth continental titleBy SAMMY KITULA in Nairobi | Tuesday, May 8 2012 at 12:04
With only two days to the start of this year’s women’s volleyball Africa Club Championships at Nairobi's Kasarani stadium and the Africa Nazarene University Gymnasia, preparations are in top gear, with defending champions Kenya Prisons aiming for their fourth title.
It will also be an opportunity for Kenyan women to stamp their authority in Africa as they chase for a slot in FIVB World Clubs Championships to be held in Qatar in October.
Kenya will be represented by three clubs; three-time winners and defending champions Kenya Prisons, regular finalists and past winners Kenya Pipeline and Kenya Commercial Bank.
The hosts will start as favourites, having regularly participated in the championships, but Kenya’s three representatives will also ride on home advantage.
The clubs have been in residential training, having recruited heavily in readiness for the event.
“Our preparations are in top gear and we are happy with the progress,” Prisons’ head coach David Lung’aho said.
“The girls are motivated, but it will be tough for us, now that we are the defending champions. Many teams will want to stop us from winning our fourth title.”
The tactician singled out compatriots Kenya Pipeline, MCR Chlef of Algeria, Rwanda’s APR and Cameroon’s FAP as sides likely to match their pedigree.
“These teams are very good and can cause an upset in the championship. They have always played good volleyball, but we are also up to the task,” Lung’aho, whose side won the African title in 2008, 2010 and 2011, added.
APR coach Viateur Sibomana said his side was ready for the challenge ahead.
“We have been training since January and we have intensified our preparations, attending training four times a week and I can confirm we are ready for Nairobi,” coach Sibomana said on phone from Rwanda.
The Rwandese side did not take part in last year’s edition due to logistical issues started preparing for this year’s event four months ago.
In their ranks, they have the experienced duo of Margaret Indakala and Carol Mutoni Atim, who are expected to boost the military side which finished fifth in the 2010 edition in Mauritius.
Prisons retained the volleyball Africa Championships trophy after beating archrivals Pipeline last year in the final at the Africa Nazarene University Gymnasium. Pipeline won 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, and 25-22).
Besides being crowned African champions, winners of the competition will qualify to represent Africa in FIVB World Clubs Championships to be staged in Qatar in August.
The draws for the 21 teams that have confirmed participation will be done tomorrow before the games begin on Thursday.
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