African V-ball Champs: U21 Men’s team vow to emulate U20 women counterparts

Head coach Paul Bitok gives instructions to his players during a training session at Amahoro Indoor Stadium last week. File photo.

WILCRIFF Dusengimana, the captain of the national U21 men’s volleyball team, has insisted that the team is ready and determined to make the country proud at the African Championships as they attempt to emulate the inspiring performance of their U20 female counterparts.

The 2018 edition of the CAVB U21 African Men’s Volleyball Championship starts today, and will run through September 19, in Nigeria.

Rwanda’s U20 women’s team staged a stunning showing at the recently concluded Africa Championships in Nairobi, Kenya as they defied odds to finish second and book a historic ticket to the FIVB World U20 Women’s Volleyball Championships due next year.

Speaking to Times Sport before the team’s departure on Sunday, skipper Dusengimana said that all his teammates and technical staff were fully aware of the challenge awaiting them in Nigeria. The week-long continental showpiece will be contested by a total of 12 teams.

“Our U20 women’s side have set a good example, but also a great challenge. Since they reached the final, we should aim at not settling for anything less. The target in Nigeria is to qualify for the World Championship,” he said.

“We are aware there are very strong opponents at the tournament, but we are not less capable either. We have had good preparations, and are determined to achieve the mission,” the youngster added.

The continental showdown will also serve as qualifiers for the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Men’s U-21 World Championships to be staged Bahrain.

At the 2013 edition, Rwanda finished as bronze medalists after defeating Morocco in three sets; 27-25, 27-25, 25-21. It is also the last time that the country took part in the competition.

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