Guest Contributor | Feb 20, 2024 | 0
Inexperience costs Namibia Beach volleyball team
The Namibia beach volleyball team failed to impress at the FIVB beach volleyball tournament which was held in Durban, South Africa at the end of last year losing all their three group matches.
“A victory would have been some sort of miracle as we were playing against perennial giants who have more than 15 years of experience in these kind of tournaments” said Heiko Kesselmann, Beach Volleyball Director of the Namibian Volleyball Federation.
The Namibian team was fortunate to have received wild card entries for both the national men’s and ladies team for the main draw of the tournament. Namibia got the wild card entries as it was the highest ranked team on the FIVB ranking in Africa.
Kesselmann attributed the losses to a number of factors, one of which was inexperience.
“This was Namibia’s first world-class tournament and the players were relatively nervous considering the level they were playing at. The weather also contributed to some extent as the players were not acclimatised to such conditions.”
Despite their humiliating defeat, Kesselmann was of the opinion that the team had great exposure at the tournament that brings perennial volleyball giants like Brazil and Latvia.
“The team gave their best, but they were playing in the big league with the big boys”said Kesselmann.
He commended how 21-year-old Julia Laggner impressed at the tournment.
“She has a very bright future as she is exposed to athletes of the same calibre where she is studying in Germany. At the moment she does not have a suitable partner to compete with in such tournaments, but in the next ten years, hopefully she will be in the big league,”said Kesselmann.
The tournament ended with Latvia winning the men’s final and China collecting the gold in the women’s group.