Egypt proved too superior for Uganda’s beach volleyball side as the Group D Women’s Continental Cup Second Round Olympic qualifiers climaxed at White Sand Beach, Entebbe, yesterday.
By the time the two sides stepped on court in the afternoon sun, Uganda was only in the competition by mathematical equations.
Mozambique had complicated issues by beating both Zimbabwe sides One (21-6, 21-10) and Two (21-10, 21-13), and Guinea Conakry One (21-19, 21-12) and Two (21-10, 21-11) to move to 27 points.
Uganda had the tough job of stopping the unbeaten Egypt, who are not only African champions but also went to the Rio Olympics in 2016, to stand any chance.
Not many were hopeful of an upset and Egypt seemed happy to toil with the emotions of a partisan crowd.
While Peace Busingye and Margaret Namyalo from Uganda’s first team put up a spirited fight, Egypt Two rallied midway through the first set, dominated and won 2-0 (21-15, 21-12) inside 30 minutes.
Egypt’s stronger side then came and completed the job 2-0 (21-4, 21-15) within 25 minutes against Uganda’s captain Joan Nabbuto and Aisha Kagoya, to go top with 30 points.
“Everything comes down to our poor preparation,” Nabbuto said after they ranked fourth on 17 points – ahead of Zimbabwe on 13 and behind Guinea on 19.
“We have the skill and we put up a spirited effort but we were competing against some of Africa’s best sides in Egypt and Mozambique. You don’t come to such tournaments with one day of training.”
The visiting countries were less scathing in their analysis of Uganda’s overall efforts.
Egypt’s technical director Ahmed Atta and his player Hamdy Nada were happy with the organisation and competition at the tournament.
Mozambique captain Vanessa Mvianga said: “Uganda are good and use certain aspects of the game like a strong serve and good movement across the court. But they hardly attack.”
Nabbutto had hinted on this earlier when she expressed her frustration about their reception.
It hardly got better throughout the tournament but she believes their participation “was part of a learning process.”
Volleyball cup group d
Mozambique One 2-0 Guinea Two (21-10, 21-11)
Mozambique Two 2-0 Guinea One (21-19, 21-12)
Mozambique Two 2-0 Zimbabwe One (21-6, 21-10)
Mozambique One 2-0 Zimbabwe Two (21-10, 21-13)
Uganda One 0-2 Egypt Two (15-21, 12-21)
Uganda Two 0-2 Egypt One (4-21, 15-21)
Group d final ranking
1. Egypt 30
2. Mozambique 27
3. Guinea Conakry 19
4. Uganda 17
5. Zimbabwe 13