The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Women's Team Misses Out On FIVB Grand Prix Tournament

KENYA have missed out on a chance to represent Africa at the 2013 FIVB World Grand Prix with Algeria getting the nod to seal the lone position allocated to the Confederation of Africa Volleyball (CAVB).

Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) secretary general, Evans Wasike, said the global body could have gone for the world rankings where Algeria are two slots better of Kenya at 14.

He also argued that Kenya's failure to feature in the 2012 London Olympic Games could have dented their hopes for a maiden appearance at the lucrative event.

It will be the first time the continent will be represented in the Grand Prix, owing to the increase of participating team from 16 to 20 this year.

Kenya and Algeria have been the biggest forces in women's volleyball in the continent where the former are the reigning champions. Kenyans also boost of an All Africa Games bronze medal after finishing behind Cameroon (gold) and Algeria (silver).

Other teams set to take part in the August/September 2013 Grand Prix are China, Japan and Poland (automatic qualifiers), Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Serbia, Netherlands (Europe), Brazil, Argentina, United

States, Cuba, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico Pan-America), Thailand, Kazakhstan (Asia), Italy, Russia, Turkey and Germany (FIVB appointees).

USA have captured the last three titles of the annual premier international volleyball tournament.

The event, which runs between August 2 and September 1, will consist of three preliminary round weekends with five groups of four teams each. Holders U.S. will face two-time reigning Olympic champions Brazil in the opening weekend before squaring it up against reigning world champions Russia and Poland in Group 'A' held in next two consecutive weekends. The final event will be held in Japan, returning to the city of Sapporo for the first time since 2009.

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