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Morocco, Egypt emerge winners at African Beach Volleyball


2019 Africa Beach Volleyball Cup Seniors in Abuja. Photo/AkeemLawal/thenation

Morocco and Egypt over the weekend emerged the men and women’s champions of the 2019 Africa Beach Volleyball Cup Seniors in Abuja, just as president of the Nigeria Volleyball Federation (NAVB), Engr. Musa Nimrod laments unemployment as the cause for the country’s low performance at championship.

Morocco’s Abicha Mohammed and Elgraoui Zouheir beat Rwanda’s pair of Patrick Kavalo Akumuntu and Olivier Ntagengwa 2-0 (21-15, 21-16) in the men’s final decided at the Jabi Lake.

The promising Rwanda team played with so much passion but the Moroccans were stronger and more composed.

An elated el-Graoui Zouheir said he was excited winning the title for the second time.

“I feel so great about this win; it is the most important thing to me, because this is my second title”, el-Graoui Zoucheir said after the game.

While fielding questions, the Moroccan said the Nigerian players seem new in the game and would require to play more matches to properly mature and pointed out that full concentration in the final match against Rwanda earned his team the desired victory.

The Stade Poitevin Volley Beach Club player said, “Next for my team is the Tokyo 2020 Olympics; I hope we qualify because at the last qualification, we lost in the final”.

Mozambique defeated Sierra Leone 2-0 (21-17, 21-15) in the men’s third place match.

In the women’s final, two times Olympian, Doaa Elghobashy and 2019 Most Valuable Player of the Africa Club championship, Farida El Askalany of Egypt defeated Mauritius 2-0 (21-15, 21-16) while Rwanda with highly experienced Charlotte Nzayisenga and Benita Benita Mukandayisenga settled for third place after beating Nigeria 2-0 (21-18, 21-16).

Nimrod said afterwards that huge unemployment contributed to the low pace the sport is growing in the country.

“Our state governments have turned away from its responsibilities of engaging talents. We have a lot of volleyball talents, but they are unemployed. It’s the military and paramilitary that have gainfully engaged some of the talents discovered, which is why we have a few of them in volleyball”, Nimrod said.

He was however excited at the turnout, saying: “I am overwhelmed by the number of participating countries who are present at the Africa Cup despite the short notice of three weeks given by Confederation of Africa Volleyball (CAVB)”, and added that, “this is a sign that Africa will be great again”.

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