Nigeria got their Olympic qualifying campaign off to an auspicious start with a 2-1 (21-13, 19-21, 15-13) victory in the decider against Kenya in the men’s category of the Tokyo Beach Volleyball Olympic Qualifiers in Morocco.
Nigeria’s Team A (Obayemi Ogunshina and Hilary Simon) had lost to Kenya Team B 0-2 (15-21, 13-21) in the first match before Nigeria’s Team B consisting of Emenike Ezike and Emmanuel Chidebere defeated Kenya Team A (21-16, 21-16) in the second encounter.
Nigeria then won the deciding encounter to record their first win in their bid for the sole Olympics ticket.
Head coach of the Nigeria beach volleyball team, Francis Imoudu commended his players for triumphing against a much-heralded Kenyan team who were deemed the favourites ahead of the match.
“This win is an indication that the men’s team is ready for their remaining opponents. I must commend the fighting spirit of the team because bookmakers had given the game to the Kenyans but we shocked Africa,” Imoudu said.
“Kenya is a good side but Nigeria did not show them any respect on the court. We will take each game as they come and all we need is the support of Nigerians home and abroad for these boys to succeed.”