13 Apr 2013

Sport: Vanuatu volleyballers prepare for World Champs countdown

1:08 pm on 13 April 2013

The Vanuatu beach volleyball team leaves for China next week, the first leg of a four month journey they hope will culminate at the World Championships in Poland.

The top-ranked team in Oceania missed out on their target of qualifying for the London Olympics last year but have since risen inside the worlds top 40.

There are five events before the World Championships in July, beginning in China at the end of the month.

The President of the Vanuatu Volleyball Federation, Debbie Masaufakalo, says if they can maintain their ranking, Vanuatu will become the first Pacific team to compete at a World Championships.

"We're well in the top 48 teams but if we don't compete in these world tour events prior to the World Championships we will lose our world ranking and it will drop very fast and it will drop outside the top 48. Everybody's pushing hard to get to these events to do well to qualify or they will miss out."

Debbie Masaufakalo says the Vanuatu team will spend a few days training in Fiji next week before flying out to China.