Unbeaten Egypt claim World Volleyball Championships slot
11 February 2014, 08:20
Nairobi - Egypt defied Kenya's home ground advantage to qualify for the volleyball World Championships, which will be played in Poland from Aug. 30 to Sept. 21.
The Pharaohs men's team claimed one of the three tickets reserved for Africa in the 2014 FIVB World Championships after attaining a clean sheet with four victories of the round-robin tournament played in Nairobi.
In their final match, the African champions defeated Cape Verde 25-14, 25-14, 25-16 to complete the qualification.
Egypt achieved their first victory of the tournament after beating Kenya 25-21, 25-22, 20-25, 25-20 and went on to beat Zambia 25-13, 25-15, 25-15 before recording their third win of the tournament with 25-16, 25-19, 25-9 victory against Botswana.
"The tournament was favourable on our side and we expected to qualify for the World Championships. After here the big challenge is to stamp our foot at the World Championships in Poland," Egypt captain Saleh Youssef said in Nairobi on Monday.
In the match between Egypt and Cape Verde, the victors gained the first three points including service ace from Youssef Hossam to lead 3-0 before Cape Verde brought the scores to 5-2. Egypt raced to 8-4 advantage at the first technical first out that lasted under five minutes.
Egypt were up 16-8 at the second break with great service from Mohammed El Hussein before claiming the set 25-14.
In the second set, Egypt improved their service through jump floater Elkotb Ahmed and managed to utilize on Cape Verde's leaking defence to score quick points.
Egypt then went up 8-2 in the first technical time out before taking 16-11 lead at the next break. Egypt continued to gain more points on their powerful service that proved too hard for Cape Verde to receive.
The third set saw Cape Verde improve their blocks with help of 200cm-high captain Reis Vadir and Paulo Fernandez to score important points. But Egypt continued to dominate the set and open a huge gap at 21-12 before reaching set point at 25-16.
The remaining two slots would be filled after other two qualification tournaments to be held in Cameroon and Tunisia.
Cameroon will organize the second Africa qualifiers from Wednesday in Yaounde, with the participation of Algeria, Nigeria, Rwanda and Gabon besides the hosts.
Tunisia will host the final qualifiers, when they take on Seychelles, Congo Brazzaville, Senegal and Niger for a ticket to the worlds.
The women's contest for the Italy's 2014 World Championships start in Kenya as Nairobi welcomes Seychelles, Uganda, Tunisia, Senegal, Mozambique and Cape Verde on Saturday.
The conclusion of Kenya's women's tournament would pave way for the next qualification round that would see Algeria host Botswana, Ghana, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and Egypt in the second qualifiers from Feb. 23 to March 2.
Africa would be represented by two women's teams in the World Championships to be held in Italy later this year.
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