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Daily Nation : February 6th 2014
DAILY NATION Thursday February 6, 2014 SPORT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS QUALIFIER| This is ourmoment, declares team captain Maiyo Bullish Kenya start quest for maiden ticket to Worlds Hosts face Egypt, Cape Verde and Botswana for the single qualifying spot available in the group BY AYUMBA AYODI @AyumbAyodi firstname.lastname@example.org Maiyo exuding ahead of their volleyball 2014 World Championships men’s qualifiers against Cape Verde at the Safaricom Indoor Arena today. “We have the best chance and this is “T our moment to write history,” said Maiyo upon receiving a sponsorship cheque of Sh1m from Nairobi Coca Cola Bottlers managing director Patrick Pech for their African qualifiers. Pech, who gave Sh 500,000 cash and similar amount worth of refreshments for both men and women’s teams, promised Sh1m cash for each of the teams if they for qualify for the World Championships. Kenya only needs to win Pool “U” that has Egypt Botswana, Zambia and Cape his is our moment to make history.” This is the confidence Kenya captain Philip Verde to make it to the event slated for August 29 to September 9 in Poland. Africa will get there other two repre- sentatives from Pool “V” and Pool “T”. The team coached by Gideon Chenje launch their quest against Cape Verde at 4pm in the Confederation of Africa Volleyball (CAVB) qualifiers before meeting Egypt in a match that could be the decider of the tournament tomorrow at 4pm. However, Kenya will still play Zambia on Sunday before wrapping up against Botswana on Monday. “There is no reason why we shouldn’t make it to the World Championships. The team has improved especially at backcourt play and reception play since meeting Egypt last in November,” said Maiyo. Settled for bronze. “My colleagues have since polished on their mistakes since the Africa Zone Five World Championships pre-qualifiers in Kigali, Rwanda in November last year where they settled for bronze.” Maiyo, however, reckons that it will be suicidal for them to underrate their opponents. Kenya lost to Egypt infive sets of 25-23, 20-25, 17-25, 25-18 and 13-15 when they last met. “On paper, Egypt is our major hurdle to Poland Worlds but we need to believe in ourselves and be confident that we can make it,” Maiyo said. “We must capitalise on the homeground advantage and the new qualifying format.” Maiyo, who is based in Turkey, said There is no reason why we shouldn’t make it to the World Championships” Philip Maiyo, Kenya captain morale was high in the camp. “They should not be under any pressure because volleyball is the same across the world,” said Maiyo. Today’s fixtures: Zambia v Botswana 2pm, Kenya v Cape Verde 4pm CHRIS OMOLLO | NATION Kenya libero John Ndung’u trains at Safaricom Kasarani gymnasium yesterday ahead of their 2014 FIVB World Championships qualifying match against Cape Verde today. Love’s 31 points lifts Timberwolves over LA Lakers Minneapolis Minnesota’s Kevin Love scored 31 points and pulled down 17 rebounds to lead the Timberwolves to a 109-99 NBA victory on Tuesday over the injury ravaged Los Angeles Lakers. Kevin Martin tied a season-high with 32 points for the Timberwolves, who handed the Lakers a seventh straight defeat. The Lakers welcomed two key players back from injury in Steve Nash and Steve Blake, but saw Jodie Meeks depart with an ankle injury less than two minutes CYCLING Sir Bradley Wiggins says he had to move his children to a new school because of “horrendous” bullying following the Lance Armstrong drugs scandal. Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned from the sport. ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE 55 Points leaders Arsenal have so far collected after 24 matches. TENNIS I’m supporting Russia, says Sharapova Russian tennis queen Maria Sharapova may live in Florida and talk with an American accent... but speaking in her home town of Sochi yesterday she made it clear her loyalties lie with the country of her birth. The four-time Grand Slam champion, born in Siberia, spent several years as a young girl in the host city of the 2014 Winter Olympics before moving to America to hone her skills. Sharapova is one of the world’s most recognisable sports stars. into the contest and Jordan Hill exit with a possible concussion at the end of the first quarter. The last time the Lakers endured a seven-game losing streak was March 215, 2007. Both Nash and Blake were in the Lak- ers’ starting lineup. Nash, sidelined since November 10 with lower back nerve pain, played 24 minutes and had seven points and nine assists. Blake who had been sidelined since mid-December with a torn ligament in his right elbow was held scoreless in 32 minutes on the floor but had six assists and five boards. “I thought they played well,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said of Nash and Blake, noting that Blake fought through a ruptured ear drum suffered in the first quarter. “I just remember getting hit really hard in the ear and everything went hollow sounding,” Blake said of his latest injury. Hill was hurt when he took an inadvert- ent elbow to the face from teammate Chris Kaman under the basket that left him with a neck strain and headache. (AFP) BOXING Fan poll cancels Khan-Mayweather bout Amir Khan’s prospects of fighting world light-middleweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jnr appear bleak, with Marcos Maidana the favourite to challenge. Mayweather wants to fight either one of the two and left it up to his Twitter followers to decide. The 36-year-old tweeted: ‘I’m going to let the fans vote. Tell me who I should fight next. Khan or Maidana?’ The American’s last fight came in September when he Saul Alvarez. GOLF Muthaiga’s Anil serves a perfect final round to claim Mini Masters third leg. P.69 Ogier out for Swedish follow-up 67 KARLSTAD, Sweden World champion Sebastien Ogier (left) is hoping history repeats itself when he takes to the wheel of his Volkswagen on the Rally of Sweden’s classic snowcovered roads this week. Ogier took the honours here 12 months ago after a tight tussle with Sebastien Loeb, the since retired nine-time champion. Ogier prevailed over his illustri- ous French compatriot by less than a minute to give Volkswagen their first championship victory. And the omens of a follow up ap- pear positive after Ogier began the 2014 season with success in the opening rally in Monte Carlo. “Rally Sweden is one of my favourite rallies on the calendar,” said Ogier. “Last year, we claimed the first win for Volkswagen here, following a great duel with Sébastien Loeb. “That was probably the best rally of my career so far. Like Loeb, we pushed ourselves to the very limit the entire time, and had to give 100 per cent every minute. “We are the team that everyone wants to beat. It will definitely not be easy, but I would love to win here again.” Ogier leads the fledgling cham- pionship standings by nine points from his compatriot Bryan Bouffier, in a Ford Focus, with Citroen’s British driver Kris Meeke a further two points adrift in third. Ford’s Scandinavian driver Mikko Hirvonen retired from Monte Carlo but is upbeat about his prospects in Sweden. “I’m really looking forward to Sweden where I think we can be competitive. We’re certainly determined to show what we can do. “It’s one of those events where a driver needs to really attack but in the narrow sections you also have to be very precise. “There’s a very narrow line that forms, and if you venture off that line you can easily find yourself in trouble.” Norwegian driver Mads Ostberg has warned Ogier to expect a fight. (AFP) FORMULA ONE Sebastian Vettel’s domination has played a key role in the loss of 50million television viewers over the past year, according to supremo Bernie Ecclestone. This comes after the publication of global report for 2013.
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