Rwanda deny Kenya All Africa Games ticket
Kenyan fans and officials forgot to revise the Confederation of Africa Volleyball (CAVB) competition manual ahead of the Zone V All Africa Volleyball Qualifiers in Rwanda.
Rwanda defeated Kenya 3-2 (17-25, 25-22, 25-18, 25-27, 15-7) on Monday night to finish unbeaten though both teams tied on seven points. At that point Kenya thought that their superior set ratio had earned them a ticket to Congo Brazzaville.
But in a situation like that, Chapter 9 article 9.2.1 of the CAVB competition manual says:
In case of equality of ranking points gained by two or more teams they will be classified in descending order by the number of matches won.
Since Rwanda had won three out of three, their identical seven points with Kenya cease to separate the two sides.
“We gave our best; luck just wasn’t on our side,” Kenyan captain Ibrahim Odur told the Daily Nation.
Geoffrey Omondi stuck with the six (Rwanda Michel Chemos, Daniel Kiptoo, Dennis Mokua, David Kirwa, Wesley Rono, Hudson Wanyama) that got maximum points off Burundi and Uganda.
Inside a full house Amahoro Stade Petite, with every fan cheering Rwanda at the same time booing Kenya, that didn’t stop the visiting team from claiming the set 25-17.
Rwanda found their rhythm through skipper Lawrence Yakan, Olivier Ntagengwa and Flavien Ndamukunda proved to be unstoppable. They came back strong to lead 25-22 and later 25-18.
“We lost concentration because the fans were making too much noise. That put us under a lot of pressure,” Odur added.
Kenya needed to win to the fourth and the tie breaker; they could only manage one as they fought tooth and nail to win 27-25 while Rwanda dominated the decisive set with a score of 15-7.
Just like it was four years ago Kenya will still feel undone as their countryman Paul Bitok stood between them and qualifying for the September finals.
“It was a tough match Bwana. Kenya really brought out the best in us, but because of good preparation, we have managed to come out on top,” Bitok said after the match.
Rwanda joins Egypt as the two teams from Zone V to qualify for the final, the former finished fourth at the Maputo Games while the North Africans won gold.