Myslowice, Poland, May 18, 2011 – Mauritian pair Elodie Li Yuk Lo/ Natacha Rigobert have the FIVB Swatch World Championships in Rome in their sights despite losing in the opening round of qualifying at the Myslowice Open in Poland on Wednesday.
The 38th seeds in qualifying, who have been playing together since 2008, are looking to get to June’s World Championships in Rome via the FIVB’s continental participation principle which requires a minimum of one country per confederation to be represented at the FIVB’s premier beach volleyball event.
Twenty-eight-year-old Li Yuk Lo and 30-year-old Rigobert blamed their 21-6, 21-11 loss to Kazakhstan’s Irina Tsimbalova and Tatyan Mashkova on tiredness but expect to be at the top of their game come June 13, when the FIVB Swatch World Championships begin.
“We came from a tournament in Dijon in France and our legs are dead,” Rigobert said. “We have not played a lot and were a bit unwell, it was really cold there. They [Tsimbalova and Mashkova] served really well and they played defence superbly.”
Li Yuk Lo and Rigobert are the only team – female and male - to have played for Mauritus on the FIVB Swatch World Tour. Since making their debut on the FIVB Swatch World Tour in 2008, they have participated eight times with a best finish of 41st at the Kristiansand Open.
“It’s difficult because we are from a small country and we don’t have any financial means. We cannot train as we wish because we have nothing,” Rigobert added.
Also in their sights is a top position at the All Africa Games in Mozambique in September, where beach volleyball will be played for the first time.