By Sulayman Bah
Gambia Women beach volleyball team may have to try again after failing to qualify for the forthcoming Olympics to be held in Brazil in August.
The five-person Gambian outfit needed to thrive in the Continental Cup Finals to reach the Rio Games but lost four of their five matches in Abuja.
With an impressive 15-game winning streak and ranked as 15th best by the Confederation of African Beach Volleyball in March, that however stood for nothing, at least in the wake of this tournament, following their defeat to Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Mauritius beating only Ghana.
On account of this new slump, The Gambian team –who returned last week Wednesday – may now have to try the 2020 Olympics after seeing their hopes of a qualification slip through.
Despite the blip though, by account of participation, the country’s rank soared from 16th to 8th in the continent as Egypt won the Abuja finals.
‘I feel honoured and privileged to be part of this and is a blessing to be among the best 10 beach volleyball nations in Africa,’ said Gambian player Sainabou Tambedou’’.
‘We had learned a lot. I can tell the game is really developing in the continent of Africa and bravo to all nations who are trying to develop beach volleyball in their respective countries,’ she says.
Abie Kujabie, a member of the Gambian team funded by the Olympic Bureau, urged the National Volleyball Federation to support athletes by organizing open beach volleyball events and also to setting up a calendar to keep them competitive.