The Sunday Mail
The national Under-21 Beach Volleyball men’s team has qualified for the World Championships set for Larnaca, Cyprus, in July.
Zimbabwe came third behind hosts Mozambique and winners Egypt during last week’s qualifiers in Maputo.The qualification comes a few weeks after the U-23 team got a wild card entry to the World Championships which get underway on June 10, in Poland.
The duo of Collen Peters and Keith Machakaire, who were debuting during the games, delivered commendable performances, starting their campaign with a 2-1 victory over Mozambique before dismissing Lesotho 2-0 to clinch Pool A.
They progressed to the round-robin phase, where the top two teams from the pools battled for the three tickets to the World Championships.
Although Zimbabwe struggled in the first matches of the round robin, losing to Mozambique and Egypt by an identical scoreline of 0-2, Peters and Machakaire recovered to beat winless Swaziland to book a place at the World Championships.
National Under-21 coach Nyashadzashe Takawira saluted his boys’ efforts, saying they showed good skill and temperament for novices on the international stage.
“The boys did well in their first international assignment. We were missing the experience of Douglas Choto who was sitting for exams, but I was impressed with these two boys.
“We will be having combined training sessions with the U-23 team during weekends in Highfield as we start our final preparations for the Championships,’’ said Takawira.
The U-21 Beach Volleyball World Championships will run from July 22 to 27.