Kenya coach Chenje names Olympics Qualifiers team
31 January 2012
Nairobi, Kenya, January 30, 2012- Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) have identified 12 players to represent the country in the Women's African Olympic qualifications to be held in Blida, Algeria February 1-5.
Head coach Gideon Chenje clearly went for experience while selecting the team that will contest for the sole berth reserved for Africa at the Summer Games. Most of the players are regulars who have featured in high profile tournaments like 2011 FIVB World Cup and World Championships.
Noel Murambi’s dream to play in the Qualifiers has failed because the Kenya Pipeline star is nursing an injury. Edna Rotich who did not travel with the team to the World Cup and All Africa Games is Murambi’s replacement. Murambi made her National team debut at the last World Cup and she attracted a lot of attention from foreign scouts.
Setter Jane Wacu who missed out of the World Cup squad is back in the team. The inclusion of Rotich and Wacu is expected to strengthen the team that is aiming to return to the Olympics where they played for the last during 2004 Athens Games.
Fast-rising Pipeline duo of Roselyn Odhiambo and Esther Wangeci have retained their positions and so is hard hitting Everline Makuto of Kenya Prisons.
Chenje said: “I hope Odhiambo and Wangeci will maintain the great form that saw them help Pipeline win the national league.”
Colourful Prisons spiker Everlyn Makuto who was twice voted Most Impressive Player at the last World Cup is another notable player named in the team.
“Makuto is one of the attackers we’ll rely on in Blida to take Kenya to the Olympics,” said Chenje who is handling the feminine team for the first time.
Chenje quest to take the team to the Olympics is embedded in his decision to go for experience. The coach has included regulars Janet Wanja, Diana Khisa, Mildred Odwako, Lydia Maiyo, Mercy Moim, Bracksides Agala and Rotich in the team with hope that they will use well their experience and clear opponents in Blida.
Chenje said: “If fairness prevails both on and off the court then I can confidently say that Kenya will qualify for London.”
“The travelling players are arguably some of the best in Africa and I see no reason why they should not qualify for the Olympics,” he said.
Chenje prays that the lady luck that saw him guide the national men’s team to All Africa Games bronze medal in Mozambique will once again smile on him as he seeks the Olympics ticket.
Kenya will contest for the single berth reserved for Africa against Algeria, Egypt and Seychelles.
The Kenyan team departs Monday in two groups, to Algeria>
Tunisia claimed the men’s ticket during the masculine qualifiers recently held in Douala, Cameroon.
The final lineup includes Jane Wacu, Ruth Chepngetich, Jannet Wanja, Diana Khisa, Esther Wangeci, Millicent Odwako, Lydia Maiyo, Mercy Moim, Evelyn Makuto, Edna Rotich, Bracksides Agala and Roselyn Adhiambo.
By Oscar Pilipili, KVF press officer