Mmegi Online :: Beach volleyball teams come unstuck in Nigeria
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Last Updated
Wednesday 22 May 2019, 19:50 pm.
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Beach volleyball teams come unstuck in Nigeria

The national beach volleyball team’s head coach, Isaac Thengelani has blamed the country’s failure to qualify for the World Championships on lack of preparations.
By Kabelo Boranabi Fri 03 May 2019, 12:08 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Beach volleyball teams come unstuck in Nigeria








The men’s and women’s teams made their international debut at the just-ended Beach Volleyball Senior African Nations Championships played in Nigeria last week.

The women’s team of Jestinah Moyo and Ngirl Wright were knocked out in the quarterfinals by Rwanda. The team had a bad start, losing to Morocco in the first game but recovered well with wins over Sudan and Sierra Leone.

The men’s team, made up of Agisanang Kurwana and Odirile Sibanda could only finish 15th out of the 18 teams that participated. The team won only two games at the competition; a win by default over Tanzania after the East Africans pulled out as a result of injuries.

The duo went on to redeem themselves with a 2-0 win against Ivory Coast in positional playoffs.

“Our ladies have done very well, but we could have done better if our preparations for the tournament were up to par. I was called on to the team just six days before we left for Nigeria,” he said.

“I was with the team for just six days so we did not have time to thoroughly prepare for the

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games. We also did not have preparatory matches and this made everything hard for us during the games. If we had preparatory games we would have done much better.”

Thengelani, however, said despite a below par performance in their maiden tournament, the country has a bright future in the sport. “We were amateurs playing against professional players. Some of the players we faced play in the Middle East and European leagues. They were tactically superior, but we have a future in the sport. We managed to beat teams that are ranked higher than us in indoor volleyball,” he said.

Beach volleyball was introduced in Botswana in 2007 as a recreational activity. Two years later it was recognised as a sport and in 2017 the Botswana Volleyball Federation and Botswana National Olympic Committee hosted pilot talent identification programme to select national team players.

Currently, umpires are undergoing a training course at Molapo Crossing that runs until Sunday. Thengelani will lead the national teams to the first ever Africa Beach Games to be held in Sal, Cape Verde from June 14 to 23, 2019.

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