Bitok eyes two wins at U-21 world meet

U-21 national men’s volleyball team head coach Paul Bitok is targeting to win at least two games at the 2013 World Junior Championships scheduled for August 22 through September 1 in the Turkish cities of Ankara and Izmir.
The junior national team celebrating with Bitok after finishing third in African Championships held in Tunisia in March this year. Times Sport/File
The junior national team celebrating with Bitok after finishing third in African Championships held in Tunisia in March this year. Times Sport/File

U-21 national men’s volleyball team head coach Paul Bitok is targeting to win at least two games at the 2013 World Junior Championships scheduled for August 22 through September 1 in the Turkish cities of Ankara and Izmir.

The team arrived in Turkey on Tuesday and held its first training session on the same day in Istanbul.

 

The Kenya-born said, “We intend to play a couple of warm-up games before the main event kicks off.”

 

The former Kenya international player told Times Sport from the Turkish capital that he is keen to win a minimum of two matches on Rwanda’s maiden appearance at the World Championships.

 

“It will be difficulty but it is possible, we know the task ahead and have to be ready for it or else there is no reason for being here in the first place,” he stated.

Bitok, who also handles the senior national team, added, “It is our first time to play at this level but we will be trying all we can to do well in the tournament; the players have been progressing well in training, so I am hopeful.”

Debutants Rwanda is drawn in Pool C along with Serbia, US, Canada and Tunisia.

The tournament provides a platform for the next generation of stars to showcase their skills on the international stage and potentially take the big step into the world of the senior ranks.

The competition will run on a revised format having been expanded from 16 to 20 teams.

Russia are the defending champions after their success in Brazil in 2011, their eighth in 11 appearances in the competition. They will line up against Brazil and fellow Europeans Serbia, Poland and Italy in pool D.

Hosts Turkey are in Pool A together with China, Egypt, India and Morocco; while Pool B has pre-seeded Argentina and Iran, as well as Japan, Mexico and Estonia.

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