TWO Zimbabwe volleyball teams are set to leave the country for Egypt this Tuesday for the Group C Confederation Cup second round competition, which also acts as the route to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
By Munyaradzi Madzokere
The beach volleyball event is scheduled to run from November 4 to 9.
Eight teams, namely Angola, Chad, Congo, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Gabon, Namibia and hosts Egypt, will all be targeting a top-three finish which will ensure progress to the next round of the Olympic qualification process.
Zimbabwe Volleyball Association (ZVA) secretary-general Ringisai Mapondera believes that the team has what it takes to finish among the top-three nations.
“Our team leaves on November 3 for Egypt and we are hoping they will do well at the upcoming competition despite the absence of Swaziland-based Simbarashe Chidziva, who is one of our top players,” he said.
With the women team having bowed out of the race for an Olympics berth, Zimbabwe has assembled two men teams to fly the flag in Egypt.
Douglas Choto and Kudzai Sibangani make up one team, while Nyasha Takawira and Keith Machakaire complete the other pairing, with Vengai Nyaudze taking the role of team manager and coach.
“Angola, who won gold at the African Games, are the strongest team in the group, alongside Namibia and Egypt, but we still have faith that our team will make the top three at this event,” Mapondera added.
He revealed that his association was still to get assistance in putting together resources to send the team to Egypt, having already approached the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee as well as the Sports ministry.
Beach volleyball is one of the country’s growing sports, with the age group teams having already qualified for World Championships in the past years.
The ZVA secretary-general said his association saw a future where beach volleyball would bring a lot of success to the country.