The National sitting volleyball team will face champions Iran, silver medal winners Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil and China in the London Paralympics games slated for August 30-September 8 at Excel Centre in London.
According to Celestin Nzeyimana, an official of the National Paralympic Committee, the teams in Pool B where Rwanda is placed are not only experienced but are also strong.
“I think we got a bit unlucky because our group includes two teams that played in the finals in the last Paralympics games and still have majority of the players that they used. But we shall not whine about that,”Nzeyimana said.
Group A has hosts Britain, Morocco, Russia, Germany and Egypt.
The national sitting volleyball team is fresh from a two-week training camp in Holland and has continued training sessions at the NPC gymnasium which are expected to run for two weeks before they travel to London to continue preparations for the competition.
The Men’s tournament will begin with two pools of five teams playing in a round-robin format within each pool; all teams will play each other once in their respective pools.
The top four teams in each pool will qualify for the quarter-final phase, with the bottom teams from each pool playing each other for ninth and 10th places.
The winners of the four quarterfinals will progress to the semi finals, while the losers will play classification matches to determine the rankings from 5-8.
The winners of the semi finals will then play in the Gold Medal match, while the losing teams from the semi-finals play in the Bronze Medal match.
Sitting Volleyball emerged in the Netherlands in the 1950s, a combination of Volleyball and a German game called Sitzbal. It really began to gain popularity during the 1960s, and has since grown into one of the most fast-paced and exciting Paralympic sports. It is now played by athletes in more than 50 countries around the world.