The president of Nigeria Volleyball Federation (NVBF), Engineer Musa Nimrod is picking positives from a third place finish by Eze Collins and Emmanuel Okeke at the recent beach championship in Cairo, Egypt, with a view that it signals a glorious outing at this year’s African Games.
Although critics are wont to argue that the Nigerian duo should have won the African U21 Beach Volleyball Championship, Nimrod insists it is the start of ambitious efforts that should crystallize into medals at the forthcoming 2019 Games in Morocco this summer.
Nimrod stated further during Mega Sports’ programme on Star 101.5 FM, Lagos that the players should be praised for emerging third, after defeating the host country, Egypt in Tuesday’s bronze medal match.
He pointed that it was a gallant feat to defeat the hosts in front of their home fans, after the Nigerians lost their semi-finals tie to Mozambique 2-1 (21-18, 20-22, 15-13) just a day earlier.
Before then, Collins and Okeke won their first match against DR Congo 2-1 (18-21, 24-22, 15-12), but lost the second to Egypt (26-24, 17-21, 15-10), then bounced back to beat Morocco 2-0 (21-16, 22-15) in their third match and ended up in the fourth game with a 2-0 win against Botswana.
While also hailing the role played by head of delegation, the chairman of Nigeria Volleyball Referees Association, Samuel Timothy, Nimrod stated candidly that the team put up a good outing for Nigeria in Cairo.
He then stressed that the driving force of the federation is to ensure that Nigeria becomes a stronghold in the game of beach volleyball in Africa, while also promising that the team will not rest on their oars.
Nimrod disclosed: “The intention of the federation is to make sure Nigeria conquers the world in beach volleyball.
“With time, I believe Nigeria will be at par with countries like USA, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Canada among others.
“This is the time for beach volleyball to shine and we are not going to go backward, we are only going to get better.”