The Sunday Mail
Zimbabwe beach volleyball senior men’s skipper Keith Machakaire is confident of realising a nation’s dream by qualifying to the World Championships.
The 22-year-old will partner longtime friend Trevor Sibanda at the Beach Volleyball African Championships in Maputo, Mozambique from May 10-15.
“Beach volleyball has taken me as far as Egypt, but I have always wanted to play on European soil – it has been like a dream,” he said.
Top-four finishers from the Mozambique tournament will get tickets to the World Beach Volleyball Championships in Austria in July.
The Zimbabwean duo – along with the women’s team of Ottilia Gomo and Maud Karimandima, head of delegation William Manzviro, international referee Elliot Mpariwa and coach Obama Nyaude – is expected to leave for Maputo on Tuesday.
“I think we have a very good chance of finishing amongst the top four teams and qualify for the World Championships,” continued Machakaire. “I am really happy to be playing alongside my good friend, Trevor, as we have become more of brothers and our team chemistry should give us an edge.”
Zimbabwe coach Nyaude also reckons they have what it takes to play at the global showpiece.
“Our team is strong; it was a good selection to have Keith playing with Trevor. We have been training hard every day, at Machipisa, and the results showed pull us through” Nyaude said.
He also believes the women’s team of under-21s Gomo and Karimandima can pull off an upset or two.
“These girls are not really under pressure and we want them to gain exposure. They are so talented and I wouldn’t put it past them to cause a couple of upsets,” he said.