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Confident Kenyan volleyball queens land in Puerto Rico

25 May 2016, 14:22

Nairobi (Xinhua) -- The Kenyan women volleyball team is confident of qualifying for the Rio 2016 Olympics by winning the FIVB World Qualifiers in Puerto Rico this weekend.

The record nine-time continental champions, also known as Malkia Strikers, landed in San Juan on Thursday and conducted their first of three planned pre-tournament training sessions later in the day.

"The players are in very good spirits and at the moment they' re resting before our first training session in the afternoon. It' s a one-and-a-half-hour session meant to help us gauge where we are; our body conditioning," the team' s head coach, David Lung' aho said from San Juan.

"We are here to win and that' s what we' re psychologically prepared to do. You never know what happens in these competitions and although we have been preparing to win only God can guarantee that. If we lose then I think we should be able to handle it," he added.

Kenya were stunned at the Africa Olympics Qualifiers held in Yaounde, Cameroon in February when they were beaten at the semi finals with Egypt going one to clinch the sole ticket to Rio.

A third finish at the same tournament qualified Malkia to the repechage qualification in Puerto Rico where the last ticket to Brazil is up for grabs.

Kenya will play Colombia in their first Pool A match on Saturday before facing Algeria a day later. Malkia will round off against the hosts on Monday and if they top their group, they will face the winner of the other pool that has Dominican Republic, Argentina and Poland for the ticket to Brazil.

- Xinhua

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