It might be a blessing in disguise for the national women’s volleyball team after their nemesis Egypt pulled out of this weekends All Africa Games zone 5 qualifiers in Kampala, Uganda.
Egypt gave the show a wide berth citing religion issue(Ramadhan) alongside neighbours Tanzania who gave no reason for failure to participate in the event that would see one team book the sole slot to Morocco in August.
With the two nations pulling out of the May 19-24 event to be hosted at the Lugogo Indoor Arena , it leaves Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda and hosts Uganda to jostle for the sole slot.
Kenya Volleyball Federation first vice chairman Charles Nyaberi confirmed the development but was quick to note they are not going to underate any team.
“Yes, it might be a blessing in disguise since Egypt has always been a stumbling block but at the same time we would have loved to play against them and see how it goes but really it’s unfortunate that they won’t be part of the event ,” noted Nyaberi.
He added “With the two nations pulling out, we have the other three to contend with and we are not going to be overconfident but take one match at a time and see how it will pan out . But all in all the girls are in high spirit well ahead of the event.”
Reached for comment, middle blocker Triza Atuka said there focus is on the overall title.“We are learning a lot from the Italian coach Shailen Ramdoo and our hope is to do well in the qualifiers. Egypt was always going to be a hard nut to crack but that doesn’t mean that in their absence it’s going to be a walk in park”.
The team is expected to leave for the host nation today ahead of the event set to serve off tomorrow.
Kenya will launch their campaign against much improved Rwanda before they take on Ethiopia in the second match of the four nations tournament before they wrap up the tour with a tie against hosts Uganda