Gambia, Kenya upbeat ahead of Africa beach volleyball qualifiers for Tokyo Olympics

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However, they will have to fight their way through the Africa Continental Cup, which has a series of competitions that will be held in each continent to provide an opportunity for all federations to compete at the highest level in an open system which can secure a place at the Olympic Games.

"We have 35 men and 31 women teams. The Sub-Zonal Phase will be held from Friday through to January 15 next year," Elwani said on Thursday.

The Republic of Congo will host Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Chad where the best three teams will proceed to the second phase.

Mali, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and the Gambia will be battling for the top three spots in Zone Two to proceed to the next round of the qualifications, before appearing at the continental cup finals. In 2016 both Kenya women and men teams came near as they finished eighth in Africa, with only one place available for Africa.

Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) President Waithaka Kioni has commended the national men's and women's teams at the event's first round of qualification. Kenya women beach volleyball team are current silver medalists from the Africa Beach Games in Cape Verde.

After two rounds of qualification, the top two will make it to the finals with the winner making it to Tokyo Olympic Games.

Nairobi, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- Africa's road to Tokyo Olympics in beach volleyball in Gabon has unveiled as 66 countries pooled according to their regions parade their best talents in a quest for qualifying.

Confederation of African Volleyball (CAVB) President Amr Elwani says only the best team on merit will secure qualification, as the continent seeks to stamp its authority in the sport, which has been dominated by teams from South America, Europe, and North America.

Ahead of the campaign, Kenya, which is the silver medalist from Africa Beach Games, will have two teams in Zone Five. Kenya will travel to Kampala to face the hosts, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, and Tanzania. Eritrea will welcome Egypt, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somali, and Sudan. The best four teams out of the zone will make it to the second phase.

In Johannesburg, the hosts will welcome Lesotho, Botswana, Mozambique, and eSwatini while Lusaka will congregate the hosts, Zimbabwe, Angola, Malawi, and Namibia. Zone Seven will meet in Mauritius having Madagascar, Seychelles, and Comoros with only the winner proceeding to the second phase.