China vs Rwanda 3pm
USA vs Iran 8pm
Rwanda national women sitting volleyball team are hoping for a good start to the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games when they face top ranked China in the opening game of Group B today at Riocentro - Pavilion 6. The team captain, Liliane Mukobwankawe, has said the team is ready for the challenge against China.
“China are the best team in the world by far and in addition, they’re also the Paralympic Games defending champions, but we have prepared well and are determined to give them a hard time,” Mukobwankawe told Saturday Sport by phone from Rio.
She added that, “Since arriving here it’s been a hard week of training and everyone is in an upbeat mood to face the reigning champions, we may be the underdogs in this tournament but we have to give our best and fight for the pride of our country.”
Debutants Rwanda becomes the first African women sitting volleyball team to compete at the world’s biggest quadrennial sporting event of athletes with physical disabilities. The team is also the 2015 Africa Para volley champions.
Peter Karreman’s team is currently ranked 13th in the world and are the overwhelming underdogs in a group which has defending champions and three time-winners China, three-time silver medalists USA (ranked 2nd) and the 2015 Para Volley Asia-Oceania silver medalist Iran, who are ranked 9th.
Mukobwankawe noted, “Our aim is to get better results compared to our previous meetings, it is tough to win against the best teams in the world but we can dare to dream that we can may be cause an upset.”