Malkia Strikers, the national volleyball women team will leave the country on Tuesday evening for the FIVB Volleyball women’s championships in Japan.
The communication hitch between Kenya Volleyball Federation and the sports ministry almost scuttled the team’s travel plans as the national federation was yet to receive air tickets by late Monday afternoon.
KVF communications manager, Isaac Tirop, however confirmed receipt of the tickets at around 3.30pm Monday and confirmed that the team was ready to go.
However, as they embark on the three-day trip to Tokyo, the players have expressed disappointment with what they termed ‘neglect from the sports ministry’ with regard to their preparations for the tournament.
The team is aiming to qualify for the second round of the competition and to do that, Kenya must finish among the top four in Pool ‘D’ that also has Brazil, Serbia, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Kazakhstan.
Kenya is returning to this global competition after an eight-year hiatus, and Malkia Strikers qualified as Africa’s representatives alongside Cameroon in the African qualifiers held last year. The team will play against some of the best sides in the world as far as volleyball is concerned.
As they make a fourth appearance at the World Championship, Malkia Strikers will face Kazakhstan in their first match on September 29 before confronting Serbia a day later. They will then face Puerto Rico, champions Brazil and Dominican Republic in other preliminary matches.
The competition brings together 24 teams who have been spread across four pools of six teams each. The 24 teams will face each other in a round robin format in the first round, with the top four teams from each pool advancing to the second round.