Volley: Olympic Games’ African qualifiers-Seychelles finish fourth as Algeria claim Olympic ticket


At the Tchaker Blida Hall in Algeria, the new-look Seychelles team, who were missing a number of key players who helped them recapture the Indian Ocean Island Games (IOIG) gold medal last year on home soil, lost all their three round-robin matches to reigning African champions Kenya 0-3 (15-25, 21-25, 23-25), hosts Algeria 0-3 (6-25, 6-25, 12-25) and Egypt 0-3 (18-25, 8-25, 21-25) to finish last with three points in the final standings of the women’s Olympic qualifying championship disputed by four teams.

Twice All-Africa Games gold medallists (2007 and 2011) Algeria will represent the African continent for the second time at the Olympics after their debut in 2008 in Beijing, China.

Compared to Seychelles, they won all their three matches and Saturday’s thrilling 88-minute decider against Kenya was played in front of 5,000 spectators. They beat seven-time African champions Kenya 3-1 (25-16, 25-21, 20-25, 25-12) to claim the African slot at the 2012 London Olympic Games slated for July 27-August 12.

The Algerians also collected a 3-1 (25-20, 23-25, 25-17, 25-20) win over Egypt who finished third with four points – a win and two defeats.

"The win came thanks to the sacrifice and good work of all the players who made a good preparation. Now we will celebrate this qualification then we will begin the preparation to the 2012 London Olympics to make a good show," Algeria coach George Strumelo was quoted as saying on the Fédération internationale de volley-ball (FIVB) website.

Algeria are the fifth women's team to qualify for the London Olympic Games after Great Britain (hosts), Italy (World Cup winners), USA (World Cup runners-up) and China (World Cup third place).

G. G.

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