Beach volleyball: Italian test for Kenya in World Championships opener
What you need to know:
- Scampoli and Blanchin are placed 30th in the world as per the latest FIVB rankings released on June 6 while Agala and Makokha are ranked 130th
- Coach Patrick Owino says they will give their best shot regardless of their opponents standings
- This will be the second time Kenya will be participating at the World Championships since 2017 when the pair of Naomi Too and Makokha represented the country in Austria
Kenya’s pair of Brackcides Agala and Gaudencia Makokha will get their World Beach Volleyball Championship campaign underway on Friday with a clash against Italian pair of Claudia Scampoli and Margherita Blanchin at the Foro Italico in Rome, Italy.
Agala and Makokha who participated in the delayed Tokyo Olympics, will then play Karla Berger and Julia Sude of Germany on Sunday before they wrap up their Pool 'L' action with a match against Poland’s duo of Kinga Wajtasik and Koclolek Katarzyna on Monday.
Scampoli and Blanchin are placed 30th in the world as per the latest FIVB rankings released on June 6 while Agala and Makokha are ranked 130th. Coach Patrick Owino says they will give their best shot regardless of their opponents standings.
Owino said the players had a chance to train on Wednesday morning, but not at the main venue.
“The players are in good mood and ready for the event. The weather is humid which is good. We will play at the Centre court where the hosts will be staging their matches and we are ready to give our best. The winners in each pool and and best loser based on points will proceed to the round of 32 and we are optimistic of a good show,“ offered Owino on phone from Italy.
“We know little about our opponents which can work for or against us but luckily Agala and Makokha have gathered enough experience and exposure and we are hopeful,” he added.
Agala, Makokha, Owino and team manager Moses Mbuthia arrived in Italy on Tuesday evening.
A total of 48 teams have been drawn in 12 pools.
This will be the second time Kenya will be participating at the World Championships since 2017 when the pair of Naomi Too and Makokha represented the country in Austria.
Kenya was among the four teams picked by Confederation of African Volleyball (CAVB) to represent Africa in the event which serves off on Friday and ends on June 19.
Others were Morocco, Egypt and Mozambique.
CAVB considered the latest FIVB rankings in making the decision since they could not organise a qualification tournament due to limited time.
Mozambique, Morocco and Egypt are ranked in positions 151, 174 and 226 in the latest FIVB rankings.