Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
THE national women’s beach volleyball team is confident of securing Olympic qualification following a splendid performance in qualifiers held in Mozambique last week.
Zimbabwe won a silver medal in the Sub-Zonal Phase Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification tournament in Maputo that also featured South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Eswatini and Mozambique. Each country fielded an A and B side in the tournament that ran from January 10-15.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics will run from July 24 to August 9 in the Japanese capital.
Zimbabwe topped their pool after both their A and B teams beat Zambia and Botswana by identical 2-0 score lines to set-up a final berth with hosts Mozambique.
The two Zimbabwe women’s teams lost both matches 2-0 to settle for silver and progress to the next round of qualifiers.
Nyengeterai Guyo partnered Progress Gasa in Zimbabwe’s A team while Viola Muchaona played alongside Media Mafuta in the B team.
“Our pledge as players to sponsors NetOne and Appliance Expert as well as the people of Zimbabwe is that we will continue working hard to make sure we qualify for the Olympics. We are confident that we can do it,” said Guyo.
NetOne and Appliance Expert partnered the Zimbabwe Volleyball Association (ZVA) for the Mozambique trip.
The Zimbabwe men’s side made up of Keith Machakaire and Terence Chapidzinga for Team A and Simbarashe Chidziva and Kudakwashe Kandanda for Team B lost their group games to Mozambique and Zambia.
Zimbabwe’s A side lost 2-1 to Mozambique B and 2-0 to Zambia B, with Chidziva and Kandanda going down 2-0 to Mozambique A and 2-1 to Zambia A.
Machakaire and Chapidzinga won the losers’ clash against Eswatini B 2-0, with Chidziva and Kandanda registering a 2-1 win over Eswatini B.
Mxolisi Ndlovu, ZVA treasurer, said: “We are grateful to our partners NetOne and Appliance Expert. Now what we are working on is to give our women’s team enough training time compared to the one they had when we went for the Mozambique qualifiers. We were coming from holiday and they trained for just three days.
“We are also keen to have the team train in similar conditions as the tournament, playing on sand. Sand is different and we are planning to set-up a training camp in Mutoko.
“Funds permitting, we would like the team to travel for the final qualifiers three days before the start so that they acclimatise. We are waiting for the international body to inform us on the dates of the next qualifiers and once we get them, it will make planning easier.” – @ZililoR