Nairobi, Kenya, January 8, 2004 - Egypt gained revenge for their defeat to Nigeria in the final of last year's All Africa Games by beating them on the opening day of the Women's African Olympic Qualification tournament in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi 3-2 (21-25, 25-19, 23-25, 25-16, 15-8) followed by an earlier straight sets 25-19, 25-14, 25-12 win for the hosts over the Seychelles.
Egypt turned on a courageous display fighting back from 1-0 and 2-1 down to win the fourth set and the fifth set tie-break handing them a great start on their path to claiming the sole ticket up for grabs at this tournament for Athens 2004.
The first set showed Nigeria's dominance at the net owing to the active work of Onuhoa Chinyere but Egypt increased their work rate and improved their defense courtesy of the excellent work of their most experienced player Tahany Tosson. Adegbenjo Bunmi and Egbum Dorothy stepped up to the plate for Nigeria in the fourth set before Egyptian coach Hesham Badrawy modified his tactics to overcome the efficient Nigerian spikes to send his side on to victory.
In the second match Kenya, led by the European based star Violet Barasa, found it easy going against a young Seychelles side, cruising to victory despite the efforts of Kenyan coach Muge Abdul to rest his big players ahead of two crucial matches against Egypt on Friday and Nigeria on Saturday.
This opening day, which started with the opening ceremony in the Kasarani Hall in the presence of 2,500 spectators and the Kenyan sports Minister Mrs. Lina Chalata, was a great start to a tournament where only the winner will qualify for Athens.