Nairobi, Kenya, November 2, 2015 - Newly appointed coach Paul Gitau, who took over from Geoffrey Omondi, has named a youthful provisional 22-man squad for the forthcoming African Olympic qualifiers.
The African Olympic Qualification Tournament, which is due to take place in the period between December 23, 2015 and January 10, 2016, is one of four Continental Olympic Qualification Tournaments which will combine with the World Olympic Qualification Tournament and the Intercontinental Olympic Qualification Tournament to qualify nine countries for the men's volleyball event at next year's Summer Games. Those nine countries will join hosts Brazil, who are automatically qualified as the competition organisers, FIVB Volleyball Men's World Cup winners USA and runners-up Italy. The South American Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament took place in October, qualifying Argentina.
Among the players not selected by Gitau are former captain Philip Maiyo, who joined Qatari champions-Al Rayyan Sports Club from Al-Arabi this season. First setter Elisha Aliwa of Kenya Defence Forces and Mike Chemos, who has recently signed with a Finnish club, were not spared either. Japan-based Jame Ontere, however, has been selected.
Among other changes to the team, a new generation of players will include Nairobi Water trio setter Elijah Bosire, left attacker James Mwaniki and libero Fredrick Mwangi, as Kenya seek to build a squad for the years ahead.
The African Continental Olympic Tournament will qualify one team for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, but the second and third placed teams in the tournament will get another chance to qualify for next year's Summer Games at the Men’s Intercontinental Olympic Qualification Tournament, due to be held in the period from May 14 to June 5, 2016. The Intercontinental Olympic Qualification Tournament will feature the third placed team from the South American Olympic Qualification Tournament, the third placed team from the NORCECA Olympic Qualification Tournament and the second and third placed teams from the African Olympic Qualification Tournament. The four teams will compete for the final berth on offer in the qualification process.
Each of the four Continental Olympic Qualification Tournaments will qualify one team for the Olympics: Argentina have qualified from South America, there will be one team from Africa following this route, one from Europe (the tournament is scheduled to take place in Berlin, Germany from January 5-10, 2016) and another from the North, Central American and Caribbean region (NORCECA).
The qualification tournament for Asian teams will double as a World Olympic Qualification Tournament and will take place in Japan between the periods of May 14 to June 5, 2016. The hosts will be joined by the top three ranked teams from Asia according to the FIVB Men's World Ranking as well as the second and third placed teams from the European Olympic Qualification Tournament, the second placed team from the South American Olympic Qualification Tournament (Venezuela) and the second placed team from the NORCECA Olympic Qualification Tournament. The best ranked Asian team and the top three ranked teams from this tournament will qualify for the Olympics.
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