Thursday, February 22, 2018

‘Worlds’ qualifier in Chaguanas

THE final qualifying tournament for the Women’s World Volleyball Championships will take place in three weeks time at Central Regional Indoor Sports Arena, Chaguanas. Costa Rica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and hosts Trinidad and Tobago will be involved in the playoff from June 22-29 and the winning team will complete the list of 24 participating countries in the World Championships in Italy from September 23.

The Trinidad and Tobago Volleyball Federation (TTVF) stated in a press release Saturday that Minister of Sport Anil Roberts has given a commitment that his ministry will provide $400,000 to assist with the hosting of the playoff tournament.

All five teams involved reached this level by finishing runners-up in third-round qualifying tournaments recently and the winners of this event will join Canada, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and the United States as the NORCECA (North, Central America and the Caribbean) representatives in “Worlds.”

At No. 31 in the world, T&T is the third highest ranked team in the playoff tournament, but the hosts are just three places behind Mexico and two behind Costa Rica.

The five-time Caribbean champions have beaten both teams before, but not in the same tournament. T&T went under against the Costa Ricans in the bronze-medal match in the previous CAC (Central American and Caribbean) Games four years ago in Puerto Rico. The Nicaraguans are ranked 46th in the world, nine places ahead of the Panamanians.

This country’s men were eliminated in the third round of World Championship qualifying a few weeks ago in Canada. The Men’s World Championships will take place in Poland from August 23-September 21.