ABUJA – Musa Nimrod, Chairman of the Beach Volleyball Commission, Nigeria Volleyball Federation (NVBF), has expressed optimism that Nigeria would qualify for beach volleyball at the Youth Olympics Games (YOG).
Nimrod told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja that Nigeria would strive not only to qualify but to emerge as the best team at the qualifiers.
The under-17 national team, which will participate in the qualifiers, has since March 26 resumed camping in Kaduna, with six male and six female players.
Two players each in both the male and female categories will compete at the African qualifiers billed for Ghana from April 10 to April 15.
“We want to thank the government and the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) for allowing us to be included in the YOG qualification.
“Now, government has done its own part, and it is now left for us to ensure that we qualify. Luckily for us, presently at this under-17 level in Africa, we are well ranked.
“In the female category, we are ranked number one, while in the male category, we are the third best team in Africa.
“So, we will be going into that qualifiers to show our superiority and also qualify for the YOG in China,’’ the beach volleyball commission chairman said.
Nimrod said he was hopeful they would finish first at the qualifiers, saying this would help determine the countries Nigeria would be paired with at the YOG.
“Our desire is to be the first in both categories, because the ranking determines which group one falls into when the Games starts.
“And it will prevent us from confronting tougher opposition. So, we are doing our best to become the first in Africa in both categories’’ he said.
Nimrod however promised that the problem of visa denial, which the team suffered from several times last year, would not repeat itself as the problem was being addressed.
“The Confederation of African Volleyball (CAVB) has already told the countries which have good rankings to start visa processing for our teams as early as possible.
“And we have started since the beginning of this year, since we know that we have a line-up of activities to avoid a repeat of what happened last year,’’ the NVBF board member said.
Beach volleyball, which replaced indoor volleyball, is one of the 28 events to be competed for at the YOG.
The Games is scheduled to hold from Aug. 16 to Aug. 28 in Nanjing, China.(NAN)