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Kenyan team in prime shape for FIVB World Cup

Former Japan international Sadatoshi Sugawara has tipped the Kenyan national women volleyball team to cause an upset at the forthcoming FIVB World Cup.

The African Queens were the first of the 12 teams competing to arrive in Japan for the competition which serves off on August 22.

The Kenyan team has set up base in Hitachi Rivale, Ibaraki Province, with help from Sugawara and are set to play some friendly matches against select sides.

“Experience is on Kenya’s side this time round. A number of their players are experienced at this level a factor that will play a crucial role in their performances,” Sugawara told Nairobi News.


Team captain Brackides Agala, Janet Wanja, Jane Wacu and Lydia Maiyo as well as coach David Lung’aho have all been in the team for more than half a decade.

Lung’aho, Agala, Maiyo and Wanja will be playing in their second World Cup, and they foursome remain keen to break Kenya’s winless streak in the competition since 1991.

“We are determined to win some matches here, that is for sure. But that won’t come easy. That is why we are here for adequate preparations,” Wanja said.

The team also includes several new players including Triza Atuka and Noel Murambi.

Getting used to the heat, Japanese food and language barrier are some of the challenges the team is facing ahead of the competition.