Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Botswana crashes out of World championship qualifiers

After starting well in the just ended Pool U World Championship qualifiers, Botswana’s hopes were dented by continental powerhouse Egypt on Sunday. Egypt which is ranked number 15 in the world trounced Botswana 3-0 at Nairobi’s Kasarani Indoor Arena.

Botswana lost all sets with big margins, showing they were overpowered and outplayed. They were humbled 25-16, 25-19 and 25 -9 respectively.

A lot was expected from Team Botswana which went to Kenya having kept a clean-sheet in all the qualifying stages.

Even before meeting highflying Egypt, Botswana did not concede a set in their first game against Zambia. However they let one set drop in Saturday’s 3-1 win against Cape Verde.

Speaking to The Telegraph from Kenya, Botswana Volleyball Federation (BVF) Head of Delegations, George Keotsene, said after starting well, the boys were unlucky to be trounced by Egypt.

He said they did their best against the Northern African powerhouse, but Egypt was “just too hot for them”.

“We started the tournament well and we knew Egypt was going to be a tough opponent. Egypt is a giant in volleyball,” said Keotsene.

He said technically Egypt was superb in service, blocks and attack, adding that the Egyptians outplayed Botswana and had better tactical awareness.

Keotsene also said Egypt is more advanced and experienced in volleyball.

On Monday, the results showed that Egypt were already home and dry, having won all games.

They also boasted a good ranking in Pool U and had a clean record when compared to others in the same pool.
Results of the last game between Botswana and Kenya were not available at press time.

But having lost to Egypt, Botswana’s chances are slim. The other three countries in Pool U have also lost a game or two.
When asked before the last games whether there was a possibility of Egypt losing and Botswana bouncing back if it wins against Kenya, Keotsene said it was unlikely for Egypt to lose against the weak Cape Verde.

Meanwhile Batswana will now pin their hopes on the ladies national team which will be playing the World Championship qualifiers on February 23. The women’s team (ranked 84 in the world) is placed on Pool T with Algeria (ranked 14), Cameroon (ranked 26), Egypt (ranked 33), Congo (ranked 113), Nigeria (ranked 84) and Ghana (ranked 113).

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