Beach volleyball: Women team in high gear for African champs

Charlotte Nzayisenga (#1) won gold at the 2017 African championships, along with former partner Denise Mutatsimpundu (#2), in Mozambique. File.

The national women beach volleyball team has stepped up their preparations ahead of the upcoming Beach Volleyball Africa Cup of Nations.

The one-week continental showpiece starts April 21 and will run through 29 in Nigeria.

Coached by Kenyan tactician Paul Bitok, the duo of Charlotte Nzayisenga and Benitha Mukandayisenga trains twice a day in Rubavu District where they have been in intensive preparations since last week.

Nzayisenga, who partnered with Denise Mutatsimpundu to win the 2017 African championship in Mozambique, is keen on retaining the crown with her new teammate as they seek to qualify for this year’s FIVB Beach Volleyball World

Championships due on June 28 – July 7 in Hamburg, Germany. “The preparations are going on well, our target is to retain the title and qualify for the world championships,” said the reigning African champion.

“We are fit, and mentally ready, for the tough mission in Nigeria.”

Her former beach volleyball partner, Mutatsimpundu, went AWOL while representing the country at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Queensland, Australia.

According to Adalbert Mfashimana, the local volleyball body’s Secretary General, the African championship will serve as a test to Rwandan teams as the country prepares to host this year’s FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour in August.

At the African championships, Rwanda will also be represented by Olivier Ntagengwa and Patrick Kavalo Akumuntu in men’s category.


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