Volleyball: Kenya to renew rivalry with Cameroon at FIVB World Championships

Team members of Kenya before the match. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins Kenya's Sharon Chepchumba in action against Erika Araki of Japan in their Tokyo 2020 Olympics women's Pool A volleyball match FILE  [Reuters]

The national women’s volleyball team, Malkia Strikers will renew their rivalry with African champions Cameroon after being pooled together ahead of the 2022 FIVB Women’s World Championships set to be hosted jointly by Netherlands and Poland starting September 23.

Kenya is in Group A alongside arch-rivals Cameroon, hosts the Netherlands, European champions Italy, Belgium and Puerto Rico.

Malkia are the lowest-ranked team at position 27 of the six in Group A. According to FIVB Senior World Ranking, Italy and Netherlands are in the top ten as Belgium, Puerto Rico, and Cameroon occupy the 13th, 17th, and 20th positions respectively.

 Kenya, who are the record African champions, will be making their seventh outing at the World Championships as Cameroon make their third trip.

The last meeting in September last year saw Cameroon beat Kenya 3-1 to claim their third consecutive African Nations Championship title as both sides qualified for the World Championships.

Having finished first and second in Kigali during the continental showpiece, the reigning champions Cameroon and Kenya will be representing the continent by virtue of being finalists in the African Nations Championship which doubled up as qualifiers for the World Championship.

Olympic champions USA will clash with world champions Serbia in Group C which also has Germany, Bulgaria, Canada and Kazakhstan.

Debutants Colombia will certainly get a rude welcome to the competition from Brazil, China and Japan in Group D.

Group B has Turkey, Poland, Dominican Republic, Korea, Thailand and Croatia. 2022 FIVB World Championships Groups Group A: Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Puerto Rico, Cameroon, Kenya Group B: Poland, Turkey, Dominican Republic, Korea, Thailand, Croatia Group C: USA, Serbia, Germany, Bulgaria, Canada, Kazakhstan Group D: Brazil, China, Japan, Colombia, Argentina, Czech Republic