Women’s volleyball all set for Olympics

DETERMINATION and commitment have characterized the national women's volleyball team camp at Danhiko Centre, where the 24-member squad is preparing qualifiers for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games set for 20-30 January in Algiers, Algeria.

The provisional squad will be trimmed down to 18 after the seven-day camp, which started on Saturday. The final 15 will then be selected in their last camp next month.

Zimbabwe will battle-it-out for a berth in the global showcase with 11 other African teams, which include the hosts, Botswana, Cameroon, Egypt, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Liberia, Seychelles, South Africa and Uganda.

The draw for the tournament fixture will be presented in Algeria when the teams turn up.

Assistant coach, Peter Chitashu said his charges stand an equal chance of qualifying.

“We are doing tough drills with the aim of matching the Egyptians and Kenyans, who have an advantage in their height but we will not take other nations for granted,” said a confident Chitashu.

Meanwhile, the national men’s team is scheduled to kick-start their first training camp on 3 January.

They will fight for the available slot to Beijing on 1-10 February next year, in Johannesburg, South Africa, in a potentially explosive showdown, featuring Algeria, Botswana, Cameroon, Gabon, Guinea-Conakry, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Liberia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tunisia, Uganda and the hosts.

Eight teams, including China – by virtue of being the hosts, have already qualified for next year’s Volleyball Olympic Games, during the 2007 FIVB world cup, which ended in Japan last month.

The global showpiece in Japan was the first Olympic Qualification step, which saw Brazil (men and women), Russia (men) Bulgaria (men), Italy (women) and the US (women), making their way to compete in Beijing, next year.

The other 16 men and women teams will be drawn from the continental and world qualifying tournaments -a long path of volleyball showcases that will end in May, next year.

Women’s squad: Tatenda Dahwa, Plaxedes Gandiwa, Rumbidzai Nechironga, Rujeko Kativhu, Tsitsi Mazivisa, Melody Gondo, Maybe Mashonganyika, Veronica Kasvosve, (J.S Harare), Proceed Mukono, Bridget, Memory Dube (Railstars, Bulawayo), Media Mafuta, Duduzile Dlodlo, Ester Madeya, Sandra Jera, Felistus Chakavheya (Panthers), Patricia Muzokomba, Tholakelo Musinazi, Scelo Muguni (Raylton Cats, Gweru), Samukeliso, Yeukai Mangwana (ZRP), Pauline Bhero (Jewel Sisters), Tendai (CBZ) -Head coach, Jasper Moyo, assistant coach Peter Chitashu. – Gracey Chirumanzu

Post published in: Zimbabwe Sports News

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