After being dumped out of the FIVB World Championships qualification race recently, the Zimbabwe volleyball teams have shifted attention to the 2015 Brazzaville All Africa Games qualifiers set to begin in December.
By Munyaradzi Madzokere
The Zimbabwe women’s team put up a dismal show at the Zone Six World Championships qualifiers that ended in Zambia last week, finishing fourth out of six countries where only the top two progressed.
A fortnight earlier, Artwell Goro-ro’s men came agonisingly close to progressing to the last round of qualifiers, but had their dreams shattered by the hosts, Botswana, in the final game.
Zimbabwe Volleyball Association, secretary general Ringisai Mapondera defended the national teams’ failure at the Zone Six World Championships qualifiers citing a number of things which he said affected the teams’ performance.
“We are one of the best teams in the region, and we are obviously disappointed with our performance in the World Cup qualifiers but there were a lot of factors that contributed, key being failure to field our strongest squads due to financial challenges.
“For our ladies, some of the top players were writing end of year exams, while we also failed to bring in any of our foreign-based players mostly from South Africa to help the cause,” Mapondera lamented.
Mapondera added they were already looking forward to the All Africa Games qualifiers and hoped that they would be able to bring in their best players and field the strongest teams possible.”
Ever since Zimbabwe hosted the All Africa Games in 1995, the volleyball teams have found it difficult to make it to the continental expedition showcases.