Beach V-ball Olympic Qualifiers: Rwanda to face Morocco, South Africa in second round

Men

Group D: Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Egypt, Togo and Mali

Women

Group B: Morocco, Rwanda, Niger, Sudan and South Africa

Rwandan teams (men and women) have been drawn against some of the renowned beach volleyball nations on the continent in the upcoming second round qualifiers for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Four teams – two for each gender category – will be representing the country in February. Exact dates and host countries are yet to be determined.

In the men’s category, Rwanda has been placed in Pool D along with Sierra Leone, Egypt, Togo and Mali. 

While there will be no team to undermine, head coach Jean Paul Mana has said that his men should pay close attention to Sierra Leone and Egypt in their group. 

Olivier Ntagengwa (#2) and Patrick Kavalo won bronze medals after finishig third at the 2019 All-Africa Games in Morocco. File.

In the five-country group, only the top two will advance to the third and final round qualifiers, which will also double as the 2020 Beach Volleyball Africa Cup of Nations.

The star pair of Olivier Ntagengwa and Patrick Kavalo Akumuntu, and the duo of Venuste Gatsinze and Fils Habanzintwari advanced to the second round after finishing top of sub-zone 6 in Eritrea earlier this month. 

Women category

In the meantime, the women’s teams will be vying for the two available Group B tickets against Morocco, Niger, Sudan and South Africa.

South Africa are widely seen as the biggest threat to Rwanda but coach Christophe Mudahinyuka says that every country has equal chances to progress to the next round and has urged to his teams not to take ‘lightly’ any opponent. 

The double of Charlotte Nzayisenga and Valentine as well as Judith Hakizimana’s partnership with Seraphine Mukantabana will be the Rwandan flag bearers following their first round perfect performance in Tanzania a fortnight ago.

The African Championships, due in June, will be contested by the top eight countries in men and women’s categories out of 20 teams in the second round qualifiers. Only the champions in each section will secure tickets to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. 

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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