Harare - Zimbabwe senior men’s sevens rugby coach, Gilbert Nyamutsamba, is aware of the threat posed by Namibia in their bid to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
The annual Africa Cup Sevens tournament set for Johannesburg, South Africa, next week will serve as the qualifiers for the quadrennial mega-fiesta.
And defending champions Zimbabwe are touted as one of the firm favourites to land the sole pass to Japan.
But, Nyamutsamba believes the tournament will be close and his men ought to be at their best to secure the ticket.
He is particularly cautious on his team’s prospects given the magnitude of the teams at the tournament, especially Namibia.
“We have a lot of teams which are competitive enough to win the tournament. Look at Namibia for example. They have what it takes to beat any team in the world on their day. This is one of the teams I am sure will give us problems at the tournament.
“Of course, all the teams pose a threat to us but Namibia can be very dangerous,” said Nyamutsamba.
He said this year’s edition of the tournament will be close and predicted tough duels amongst perennial campaigners.
“This year’s edition of the Africa Cup Sevens tournament is certainly bigger in terms of prospects. This is a different ball game altogether. Of course, we are the holders of the cup but there a lot is at stake this time around.
“This is a tournament every team is looking forward to. The fact that it will double as the Olympic 2020 qualifier makes it even more intriguing. We are looking forward to the double dose.”
Zimbabwe have played in several tournaments this year, including in Zambia and Kenya, as part of their preparations for the Johannesburg contest.
“As a country, we have been preparing for this tournament and we keep on preparing. We are now in the final preparation stage for this tournament. We have done the conditioning and keep on polishing that. Technique, tactics, speed, strength, endurance and the like, I think we are almost up there.
“What is important for us as a team is never to go there and try to be complacent. Of course, we won the tournament last year but that is no passport for us to get our eyes off the ball. We are human beings playing against human beings so it will be very tough.”
Besides Zimbabwe and Namibia, the region will also be banking on Zambia, Botswana, Mauritius and Madagascar.