By sportswriter John Kwoba
NAIROBI, June 15 (Xinhua) -- The Kenyan women's volleyball team has been given a wild card to this year's Africa Youth Games, which will be held in Algiers, Algeria from July 17-27.
Confederation of Africa Volleyball (CAVB) president Amr Elwani said that Kenya, by virtue of being the event silver medalist from Botswana in 2016, deserves a spot in the finals where the top three teams will represent Africa to the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
"Kenya is high ranked in women volleyball and they are worthy competitors at the Africa level. We want to have the best team going to the Youth Olympic Games," said the CAVB president on Friday.
Kenya was beaten by Egypt in the qualification tournament for the Zone Five tournament and was meant to miss the Africa Youth Games.
But they have now been drawn in Pool A where they will face hosts Algeria, Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Pool B has Cameroon, Tunisia, Egypt and Botswana.
The Kenyan team head coach Catherine Mabwi believes the second chance given to the team will help them redeem their hopes and fight for the medals.
"I believe this team will have top players who will transit to the senior team and make an impact on the global stage. The announcement was made during the drawing of lots in Cairo," she said.
In the boys' competition, Pool A has host Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt and Botswana while Pool B will have Tunisia, Nigeria, Gambia and Madagascar.
The Youth Olympic Games are an elite multisport international event for the world's best young athletes between the ages of 15-18.
Buenos Aires 2018 will mark the first time that an Olympic event has had an equal number of women and men athletes. There will be 1,999 women and 1,999 men competing in the 32 sports from October 6-18. Enditem