KARACHI: Pakistan volleyball team’s dream of making it to this year’s London Olympics was shattered after it went down to Egypt 3-0 for their second successive loss in the International Volleyball Federation (IVFB) wildcard qualifiers in Sofia.
Pakistan, who were participating in the Olympic qualifiers for the first time, needed to win at least two of the three matches to be guaranteed a wild-card entry.
However, a 3-0 loss to Bulgaria before another loss to Egypt ended their hopes of confirming a London berth.
Egypt, who needed just an hour to defeat Pakistan, took the first set 25-13. Pakistan hit back in the second with the scoreline showing 12-12 before Egypt eventually prevailed 25-22. After a tough fight in the third set as well, Pakistan went down 26-24. While the defeat drew curtains on the Olympic dreams, the Pakistan Volleyball Federation (PVF) was satisfied with the team’s show. “It was the first time we competed against the Europeans,” PVF President Muhammad Yaqoob told The Express Tribune. “We never expected the team to win and it has made history by just participating in the qualifiers. Egypt and Europe teams are more experienced than us — they have better coaches and facilities.
“But I am satisfied with my team. We accepted the initiation from the IVFB because it was a good gesture and they considered us worthy.”
France, who have qualified for the Olympics, lead the points table after two wins, while Bulgaria have one victory against a single defeat. Egypt also have a single win to their name and will battle it out for the remaining spot with Bulgaria. Meanwhile, Pakistan will play their final match against France today.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 11th, 2012.
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