Nigeria’s under-21 beach volleyball teams have qualified for the 2017 Federation International Volleyball (FIVB) Beach Volleyball Under-21 World Championships scheduled for Nanjing in China from June 13 to June 18.
President of the Nigeria Beach Volleyball Federation (NVBF), Habu Gumel who broke the news on Monday in Abuja said both the male and female teams qualified for the championships.
The teams had campaigned for the tickets at the Zone Three qualifiers held in Lome, Togo from February 10 to February 12.
They competed against teams from Togo, Ghana and Benin Republic, with Nigeria parading two teams each in both the male and female categories.
While the Nigerian female team finished first in the female category, the male team was second in their category.
Speaking on the teams’ success, Gumel said his Federation was happy with the performance, especially as it was in line with the teams’ rating on the continent.
“We expected the teams to do well in Togo, in view of their ratings as number two (female) and number five (male) on the continent, and the players did not disappoint us,’’ he told newsmen.
Gumel, who is also President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), however said the NVBF deserved praise for making efforts to camp the teams to fine-tune their preparations for the qualifiers.
“I believe the camping of the teams in Abuja last week went a long way in not only boosting their morale but also in preparing them better for the task.
“Being in camp to prepare is always a good way of preparing players and teams, and we did just that in order to achieve results, even though it was at a cost.
“But we thank God that we got what we wanted from it,’’ he said.
The NVBF president assured that the Federation would now go on to prepare the teams for the world championships.
“Now is the time to start to prepare for the world championships, and we will start from today to put in place all that we need to prepare the teams.
“That is the only way to get the teams ready for success, through early preparation, and we shall continue to do that,’’ Gumel, who is also Nigeria’s lone member on the Executive Committee of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), said.