Beach Volleyball: Rwanda turn focus to second round in Olympic Qualifiers

Head coach Christophe Mudahinyuka (C) and the two Rwandan teams pose for a group photo with medals after finishing top of sub-zone 5 qualifiers in Tanzania on Sunday. Courtesy photo.

NATIONAL women’s beach volleyball teams have turned their attention to the second round qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after dominating sub-zone 5 first round in Tanzania.

Rwanda finished top of a group that also comprised regional neighbours Uganda, Kenya and the hosts Tanzania. The three-day tournament concluded on Sunday.

For Rwanda to snatch the only ticket allocated for Africa to the Olympics, one of Christophe Mudahinyuka’s two teams will need to win the African Championships due in June.

“It is not impossible,” Mudahinyuka told Times Sport in a telephone interview about the country’s chances for a historic ticket to the Olympics. “One challenge is now off, we are now focused to the second round. We will continue to prepare well and give our best in every game.”

In the three-round qualifiers for Tokyo 2020, Rwanda has fielded four teams – two in each gender category – and they have all progressed to the second round after impressing in their respective sub-zone competitions.

In the men’s category, Rwanda also booked a ticket to the second round – scheduled for February – after finishing top in sub-zone 6 qualifiers held in Eritrea. The group also included Egypt, South Sudan and the hosts Eritrea.

Rwanda takes part in Nyerere Cup

In the meantime, Rwandan teams have been invited to take part in this year’s Nyerere National Tour in Tanzania, a tournament that gets underway Tuesday and runs through Thursday.

According to Mudahinyuka, the competition will help his ladies to gain more game fitness and confidence ahead of the next round of Olympic qualifiers next month.

By press time, the schedule of how teams would face each other in the tournament – held in honour of late Tanzania President Julius Nyerere – was yet to be released.

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