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Beach Volleyball: Salone makes progress in Africa ranking

February 20, 2015 By Sahr Morris Jr

Sierra Leone’s male beach volleyball team made a rapid rise in the latest Africa beach volleyball ranking, moving 14 places up to ninth in the African log, from 23rd.

The pair, Abu Bakarr Kamara and Patrick Lombi, made this progress after an impressive show in the just concluded African Nations World Championships qualifiers held in Tunis, the capital of Tunisia.

Despite their progress in the continental ranking, the Sierra Leonean pair failed to qualify – in their first attempt – for the forthcoming 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in the Netherlands.

It was the host nation Tunisia, Egypt, South Africa and West Africa giant Ghana who claimed the four available Africa qualification spots, but the Sierra Leone coach Sorie Kamara was pleased with his boys’ performance in the tournament.

He said: “For us, it is a plus because this was the first time these boys have competed at this stage; all this while they were challenging in different underage tournaments, so this was their first open competition.”

“We were hoping to qualify for the World Championship but again we did not consider missing out as a failure because we made progress in our ranking, and we earlier used this tournament as test case for the boys ahead of the forthcoming sub-zonal 2016 Olympic qualifiers.”

The Sierra Leone Volleyball Association (SLVA) scribe, Ahmed Khanou, also shared similar sentiment and further stated that their biggest target now is to secure qualification to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

“For us it was a great tournament but now our biggest challenge is qualifying from our sub-zonal pool to the last qualification spot in reaching the Rio Olympic Games,” Khanou said.

The African Nations World Championships qualifiers saw hosts Tunisia lead the men’s Pool A by winning their four matches, ahead of Egypt who came second with a win-loss ratio of 3-1, followed by Libya (2-2), Algeria (1-3) and Ivory Coast (0-4).

And in Pool B, South Africa topped with a 4-1 record, followed by Ghana (4-1) – behind on set ratio – Morocco (4-1), Nigeria (2-3), Sierra Leone (1-4) and Niger (0-5).

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