Morocco dreams 2016 Olympics, Mauritius turns attention to Island Games

20 June 2015

Nairobi, Kenya, June 19, 2015- After clinching and sixth and seventh places at the women's Africa Nations championship which comes to an end Saturday in Nairobi, Kenya, Morocco and Mauritius now shifts their attention to the 2016 Olympic games qualifiers and Indian Ocean Island Games respectively.

 

Exceptional back court coverage helped Mauritius win their first and only match of the ongoing Championship in Nairobi, Thursday when they beat Botswana 3-1 (17-25, 25-21, 25-19, 25-21) to finish the competition on position seven having lost to them 3-0 at the group stages.

 

Captain Letendrie Nathalie and setter Chelumbem Venessa played their hearts out to steer the team to one of their greatest achievement of a team whose average age is 23

 

Nathalie whose main ambition is to one day help Mauritius qualify for the All Africa Games is targeting a medal for her country during the August 1-9 Islands' Games to be held at the Reunion Island.

 

"We have not won any medal in the last two competitions of the Island games and our first objective will be to win at least a medal first, then chose the color later," added the Technical Consultant in Human Resource at Uniconsults Ltd in Curepipe, Mauritius.

 

"I am overwhelmed," said Mauritius' oldest player, Nathalie, 26 adding that "It is good to win after four loses and we will leave Kenya with a lot of lessons."

 

Chellumben, a banker with Mauritius National Bank is following on the footsteps of her mother, Lysbie Chellamben who played for Mauritius national team a few years ago.

 

The 24 year old setter who was pulled from behind the teller straight to the national team without playing any competitive match last season said "I don't have a club after leaving Curepipe Starlight Sports Club last year but we were motivated by the anger of success; we wanted to win at least one mach in this championship and we did it in style."

 

 On the other hand, Morocco, playing their first Africa Nations championship after nine year absence improved their ranking by five places from the last edition where they finished 11th after as they finished sixth following a lose to Tunisia in the 5-6 place play offs.

 

"It feels good to improve in every championship and that should send warning to other teams that Morocco is back," Samir Dchar, Moroccan coach warned the rest of Africa.

 

Morocco just had the national federation election where former  volleyball star, Bouchra Hajij was elected as the President.

 

"We used to have poor support from the federation but voting in a former player has really changed things; she is really behind the team and now we just want to start preparing this team for the next Olympics qualifiers," added Dchar.

 

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2015 Women's African Nations Championship page

 

By Elvince Joshhua from Kenya