SPORTS Roundup: Kenya to face Gambia, Nigeria in beach volleyball Olympic qualifiers


Roundup: Kenya to face Gambia, Nigeria in beach volleyball Olympic qualifiers


17:52, January 26, 2020

NAIROBI, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- Kenya will throw a hat in the ring to bid for hosting rights of the second round of beach volleyball Africa Continental Cup, which will be held in February.

Sammy Mulinge, Kenya's beach volleyball head coach, said here on Thursday that his teams stand a better chance to progress to the final round with a home advantage.

Confederation of Africa Volleyball (CAVB) is yet to confirm the host cities despite making the pools for the 20 teams that have gone through the seven zonal pre-qualification. The Continental Cup is being used as the qualifier for beach volleyball ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games.

"The federation has the chance to host the qualifiers. It would be an advantage to us and I have held lengthy discussion with Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF). Kenya has a big chance to progress to the third round if we host the qualifiers. Coast city of Mombasa would be an ideal venue for the qualifiers," Mulinge said.

The CAVB has released the draws for the second phase of the Continental Cup, which will see 20 teams divided into four groups of five. Kenya women team has been pooled alongside Nigeria, Cape Verde, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia. Nigeria represented Africa at last year's Beach Volleyball World Championships.

The men's team, which also sailed to the second round, will have to navigate their path past Africa Games beach volleyball champions Gambia, Mauritius, South Sudan and Botswana.

The top two teams in each group of the four groups will make it to the final phase of the qualification in June. The eight teams will battle for the sole slot reserved for Africa at the Tokyo Olympics, which start from July 24 to Aug. 9 in Japan.

"There are no easy draws at this stage of the competition. I have to be positive that our teams have been paired against teams with almost equal ability and similar talents. Kenya can look forward to gain the advantage and make it to the final qualification round. The draw is fair," said Mulinge.

Kenya has two teams for each gender. The men's side has the pair of Cornelius Kiplagat and Brian Meli with the second having James Mwaniki and Ibrahim Oduor. The women pair has Brackcides Agala and Gaudencia Makokha with the second side having Phosca Kasisi and Yvonne Wavinya.

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