Volley: Olympic Games’ African qualifiers-Seychelles lose opener to Kenya


04-February-2012

The players of coach Nichol Lesperance lost in straight sets – 0-3 (15-25, 21-25, 23-25) – against reigning African champions Kenya whose players boast valuable experience after playing in last year’s  World Cup.

The new-look Seychelles team, who are missing a number of players who helped them recapture the Indian Ocean Island Games (IOIG) gold medal last year on home soil, were to meet hosts Algeria yesterday. Their third and final game is today against Egypt.

In the championship’s opener on Thursday, Algeria pulled off a stunning victory over heavy favourites Egypt on a 3-1 (25-20, 23-25, 25-17, 25-20) score.

Two-time All-Africa Games (2007 and 2011) gold medallists Algeria will meet Kenya today in what could very well be the title decider for the African slot at the 2012 London Olympic Games slated for July 27-August 12.

The four teams – Algeria, Egypt, Kenya and Seychelles – play each other on a round-robin format during three consecutive days.

All the four teams are previous African champions led by Kenya with seven titles, Egypt with three, and Algeria and Seychelles with one each. 

Seychelles won the continental title in 2001 in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, under head coach Maurice Denys who also led them to winning two IOIG gold medals in 1998 (in Reunion) and 2003 (in Mauritius) and a silver in 2007 (in Reunion).

The 12 players on the Seychelles are Annarita Adelaide, Atila Bonnelame, Maya Biong, Sandra Joseph, Terille Songoire, Tania Solin, Petra Richard, Flora Lesperance, Kelly Matombé, Stephie Barbero, Geneviève Nicette and Nathalie Agnes.

Coach Nichol Lesperance, his assistant is Marie-Ange Bouchereau, team manager Antoine Lafortune, medical officer Derrick Sauzier and official Michael Ah-kong also make up the Seychelles delegation.

The Seychelles team’s trip is being financed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) under the Team Support Olympic Grant. This is the third and final portion of the US $60,000 grant.

G. G.

 

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