By Olayinka Elebute
Nigeria female volleyball squad are already through to the last round of the Japan 2020 Olympic qualifier to be decided before the games.
Host, Nigeria, Cape Verde, Kenya, Congo Democratic Republic and Zambia are expected to slug it out for the two slots from the second round of qualifier holding in Abuja this weekend but the refusal of Kenya, Congo and Cape Verde to arrive for the championship has given Nigeria and Zambia the automatic tickets.
Vice Chairman of Nigeria Beach Volleyball Commission, Professor Jonathan Ngutyo told our correspondent that the two slots have been given to Nigeria and Zambia.
He said after the Technical officials of Confederation of Africa Beach Volleyball waited in vain for the arrival of the three other countries it awarded the slots to Nigeria and Zambia.
The two available countries are expected to meet in a classification tie at the Jabi Lake on Saturday.
Professor Ngutyo said the Nigeria Beach Volleyball Federation will as a result of the development will organise series of international warm up matches for the Nigerian team to keep it in shape for the last round of the qualifier.
“Only one slot was allocated to Africa at the last Olympics in Brazil, but we hope more slots will be available this time around and we are determined to be part of it.
“The players will remain in camp for the last round of qualifier which venue and date has not been decided,” he disclosed.
The head coach of Nigeria Beach Volleyball team, Francis Imoudu said the Olympic ticket for Tokyo 2020 Olympics is in the hands of the players and coaches.
Imoudu said the level of preparedness by the team is in top gear adding that some of the best volleyball players are in closed camp.
He assured Nigerians that the women’s team will not disappoint judging by their current ranking as number three in Africa.
Imoudu said, “The ticket for Tokyo 2020 Beach Volleyball Olympics is in our hands; Nigeria is hosting the second phase of the qualifiers and this should give us edge over other countries. We will be banking on the support of the home crowd when the qualifiers begin on the 5th of March”.