The Nigeria national Volleyball team departed for Cameroon yesterday to take part in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifier. It commenced yesterday and will end on January 10.
The Nigerian team will battle Egypt, Kenya, Botswana and host Cameroon for the sole ticket of the Olympic games.
Coach of the Nigeria senior women’s Volleyball team, Samuel Ajayi said he wants to make history by qualifying Nigeria for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
According to the Nigeria Volleyball Federation, twelve players, two coaches, the secretary general of the NVF and one referee travelled with the team.
Ajayi who is also NSCDC Volleyball Club coach, expressed confidence that the players assembled for the qualifier would live up to expectation.
“Nigeria is taking the Olympic qualifiers as serious business. This current team wants to make history by qualifying for the first ever Olympics. If you look at the final list, you will see that the team is made up of players who performed well at the 2019 Nigeria Volleyball Premier League, and I am confident that they will live up to expectation by picking the sole ticket,” he said.
He added: “The players resumed camping in the first week of December and since then have undergone rigorous and technical trainings. The team also reflected on the performance at the 2019 African Games and worked on some little flaws noticed. The team has the combination of top players from top clubs in the country including the Most Valuable Player, Ijeoma Ukpabi; the best spiker, Albertina Francis; best setter, Sharon Achi; best defender, Jummai Bitrus and others”
Ajayi noted that the NVBF President, Engineer Musa Nimrod had supported the volleyball team, adding that his tremendous support made it possible for the team to participate in the Olympics qualifiers.
The players, made up of 10 home based and two foreign based taking part in the Olympic qualifier are Sharon Achi (NSCDC), Esther Ahua (Nigeria Customs Service), Ijeoma Ukpabi (COAS Spikers), Happy Washilang (NSCDC), Mesomachi Ugochinyere (Japanese club), Rafiat Mustafa (Nigeria Immigration Service), Theresa Okonmah (NSCDC/Captain), Sandra Ozabor (NSCDC), Eunuce Stephen (Nigeria Customs Service), Deborah Oyiku (Japanese Club), Albertina Francis (NSCDC) and Jummai Bitrus (NSCDC).