Nigeria’s beach volleyball coach, John Iwerinma is optimistic the country will qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Iwerinma expressed his optimism after Nigeria lost to Canada 2-0 (21-11, 22-20) at the ANOC World Beach Games in Doha, Qatar.
He said the players played with a high level of dedication, selflessness and determination but were beaten by the best players in the world.
According to the coach, “Nigeria can qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics; the world beach games has re-affirmed my hope and confidence in the nation’s beach volleyball team. We played against the best teams in the world (Brazil, USA and Czech) and the girls were able to get 10 points from them. This shows we have improved drastically.
“The girls never showed any sign of complacency during and after the matches; their heads were up high after playing against Canada in the quarterfinals despite the loss”.
He further said, “The ANOC World beach games have confirmed that the players that we can stand against the best in the world and going by recent antecedent we are a world-class beach volleyball playing nation”.
He commended the leadership of the Nigeria Volleyball Federation for believing in the team that went to Doha.
“The President of the Federation has been supportive and has supported the beach volleyball teams during every of their programs. Some of the players participated at the World Championship and featured at the snow volleyball championship too”.
He concluded that Africa is blessed with talented players that can challenge European players but identified funding as a major problem that has hampered the growth of the game.