21 Feb 2012

Sport: Vanuatu aim to hit ground running in China

11:28 am on 21 February 2012

Vanuatu is aiming to keep match-hardened ahead of the final stage of Olympic Beach Volleyball qualifiers in China in June.

Vanuatu's womens team finished second at the Oceania Zonal tournament in New Zealand at the weekend, to guarantee their place in the final stage of qualifying.

Samoa's mens team also qualified after finishing third behind Australia and New Zealand.

They'll each compete against eleven other teams, including Thailand and India, for the Asian Confederation berth in London.

The President of the Vanuatu Volleyball Federation, Debbie Masaufakalo, says the girls have a busy schedule over the coming months aimed at ensuring they arrive in China well-prepared.

"The girls are aiming to go to Australia in March to finish off the Australian national tour just to get a bit more experience playing Australians and then in April is the first Olympic qualification event in Brazil because we need to also get ranking points. Unfortunately we haven't been able to get to all the Olympic qualification events - hence why we're 70th - because if you don't get to the competitions, you don't get the points."

Debbie Masaufakalo says Vanuatu's attendance at those events is dependent on them finding sufficient funding.