Africa not only has beaches, but also potential in beach volleyball
While pool play phase is coming to an end at the FIVB World Championships in Vienna (Austria), it is an interesting sidelook to to see how athletes from some exotic beach volleyball countries, especially Africa, have performed so far.
Athletes from Mozambique, Kenia, Sierra Leone, Iran, Colombia, Ruanda and Trinidad & Tobago are the first ones from their respective countries to participate in a Beach Volleyball World Championship. For most of them simply the fact of participating and playing against the world’s best teams is a great experience. When having a look at the results though, especially most African teams cannot yet compete with the world’s elite. Abubakarr Kamara and Patrick Lombie from Sierra Leone were defeated by European Champions Nicolai/Lupo (Italy) in 24 minutes with 7:21 and 8:21. Same result for Gaudencia Makokha and Naomie Too (Kenia) against the Brazialian team Agatha/Duda in the women’s competition. Manhuica/Muianga, a 17- and 21-year old from Mozambique, didn’t see any chance against Barabara/Fernanda (Brazil), losing 4:21, 6:21.
Nevertheless pretty much all of them enjoy the experience. Alvedino Nguvo (Mozambique) after his defeat with Justino Tovela against current Olympic gold medal winners Alison/Bruno from Brazil: “I saw many of their vidoes on YouTube. They are my idols. And they are very kind and we could talk to them before the match started”.
Participating in this kind of events help African teams to gain experience and establish the sport in their countries. And beach volleyball is even easier to bring forward than volleyball because less players and material is required. So far most African countries do not provide any financial support for their athletes.