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8 May 2015
Kigali, Rwanda, May 6, 2015- Rwanda Men's Volleyball team confirmed their qualification tickets for the 2015 All Africa Games to be held in Congo Brazzaville from 4-19 September after they finished Sub Zone 5 qualifiers in Rwanda at the top position.
Rwanda will be joined by another qualifier from the other sub zone 5 tournament which is running now in Ethiopia.
This is the second time for Rwanda to qualify for All Africa Games after beating Kenya for the final game in 2011 but rivals Kenya went to revenge for the third position in Mozambique by 3-2 and Rwanda finished on fourth position behind Cameroon, Algeria and Kenya.
The emerging Rwandan team beat giants Kenya 3-2 (17-25, 25-22, 25-18, 25-27, 15-7) in the third and final day of the round robin tournament which features also the participation of Burundi and Uganda. The victory improved the Rwandan win- loss ratio to 3-0 with 7 points as the Kenyans gained the same points from a 2-1 win- loss record.
Rwanda won their first match against Uganda also 3-2 (19-25, 23-25, 25-23, 25-15, 15-13) and the second against Burundi 3-0 (25 -14, 25-20, 25-18) to clinch the top position of the podium. Burundi finished in the third position with 1-2 record and 3 points, leaving Uganda at the bottom of the table with a single point.
The win gave Rwanda the ticket to the All Africa Games and for the Kenya-born coach Bitok was not only happy with his team’s win and qualification but the fact that he beat his compatriots, who are handled by another ex-Kenyan international Geoffrey Omondi.
“It was a good game to watch for the fans, we are really happy to have achieved our goal to qualify, but we still have work to do for the All Africa Games,” Bitok said, adding that, “we needed to win that game, because it was one of the biggest games for us. It used to be hard game against Kenya and we have to look ahead of us to work for the upcoming competitions,” with three wins against Uganda, Burundi and Kenya, Rwanda qualify for All Africa.
Kenya started strongly and won opening set 25-17 but Rwanda shown the strong character to the Kenyans after winning the two consecutive sets, 25-18 and 25-22 as both Lawrence Yakan Guma and Olivier Ntagengwa dominated with spikes and services, while Fred Musoni and Vincent ‘Gasongo’ Dusabimana did great work with blocks to lead Rwanda to the opening two sets, it was hard to Kenyans to get the ball down as Flavien Ndamukunda and Libero Bosco Mutabazi did great job in defense.
Kenya came back to win the fourth set 27-25, Kenya’s recovery was led by Chemos Michel and Marua Denis powerful spikes. But it was Bitok’s side, which came on top in the decisive fifth set 15-7. This is the third consecutive win for Bitok against his nation after beating them in 2011 and 2014.
Kenya played without their best player Fillip Maiyo while Rwanda was without inspiration captain Christophe Mukunzi who is still recovering from arm injury and center player Theodore Muyango.
This is second team qualified for the All Africa Games for the Rwanda Volleyball Federation after Flavien Ndamukunda and Olivier Ntagengwa got the qualification last month in Beach Volleyball which was held in Tanzania, Dar es Salaam.
The final day was attended by government officials among them the Honorable President of Senate, Honorable Minister of Culture and Sport, President of National Olympic Committee, the Director of Sports and the National federation members.
Rwanda scooped the most number of awards four in total, skipper Lawrence Guma Yakan walked away with the most valuable award.
Flavien Ndamukunda was the best server, Ivan Mahoro Nsabimana best setter and Vincent Dusabimana was best blocker.
Ugandan born George Aporu went with best receiver, the Kenyan duo of Michael Chemos and Peter Kabati took home the best spiker and best Libero while Bosco Ngezahimana aka Rwarutabura awarded as best supporter.
Match 1 BURUNDI VS KENYA 0-3 (14-25, 13-25, 20-25)
Match 2 UGANDA VS RWANDA 2-3 (25-19, 25-23, 23-25, 15-25, 13-15)
Match 3 UGANDA vs KENYA 0-3 (22-25, 20-25, 18-25)
Match 4 RWANDA vs BURUNDI 3-0 (25 -14, 25-20, 25-18)
Match 5 UGANDA vs BURUNDI 1-3 (25 -23, 19-25, 23-25, 18-25)
Match 6 KENYA vs RWANDA 2-3 (25-17, 22-25, 18-25, 27-25, 7-15)
1. Rwanda: 3-0, 7 pts
2. Kenya: 2-1, 7 pts
3. Burundi: 1-2, 3 pts
4. Uganda: 0-3 zero win
By Peter Kamasa, Rwanda Volleyball Federation Press Officer
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