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Beach Volleyball: Salone withdraws from Olympic qualification

July 8, 2016 By Sahr Morris Jr.

The Sierra Leone Volleyball Association (SLVA) has turned down the last and final chance to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games after the country’s withdrawal from the ongoing International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) World Continental Cup Olympic Qualification in Russia.

The African governing body, CAVB, gave the West Africa nation what is considered as a last and golden opportunity of making it to Rio by competing in the Continental Cup in Sochi after Angola pulled-out from the competition.

However, according to senior SLVA official Mohamed Benson Bawoh, after several meetings between the executive and technical committee the decision not to honour the tournament was reached as the better option.

He said: “After Angola withdrawal, CAVB contacted us to replace the Angolans because we finished fourth in the last African qualification in Tunisia. Due to our participation track record CAVB immediately went ahead and register us.

“Following several meetings, it was decided that we pull out in order not to waste resources and also we don’t think the boys have the chance to make it because since they returned from Switzerland they only underwent indoor trainings.”

Bawoh further revealed that the team was not prepared for the tournament because the notification from CAVB came too short.

Sierra Leone had been already paired in Pool B alongside Belgium, Mexico, China and Uruguay, while Pool A includes Russia, Kazakhstan, Venezuela, Morocco and Canada. With Sierra Leone out, 18 countries are battling for the only two beach chair spot left for Copacabana.

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