Tokyo, Japan, November 4, 2010 – Despite exiting the 2010 FIVB Women's World Championship without a win, Algeria's Zohra Bensalem says that her side have enjoyed their time in Japan and will now focus on stepping up their game in an effort to make the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Despite leaving the tournament without a win, Bensalem says that Algeria enjoyed their experience in Japan
Algeria were beaten 3-0 (25-17, 25-16, 25-12) by Poland on the final day of the first round in Tokyo on Wednesday but leave the competition having learned a number of lessons.
FIVB Women's World Championship Japan 2010 official page
"It was a great experience, very difficult and challenging but overall a wonderful opportunity to play the best teams in the world," Bensalem said. "The fans here have been amazing and Japan has been such a great country to come and visit. We all would love to come back again. The hardest thing we found was the height of the opposing sides, that was very difficult to play against but we can learn from this and come back stronger."
Being one of the younger players in the north African side at 20, Bensalem is already focused on the future, and is keen to improve her game. "As one of the younger players in a young side I try to do my best, every time," she added. "The next big event for us is the African Championships. We want to defend our title so that we can play in the Olympic qualifying event."
This was her country's first experience of the FIVB Women's World Championship and Algerian women's Volleyball team have taken unprecedented steps in recent times, qualifying for the Olympic Games for the first time in 2008. The world No.14 qualified for Japan 2010 after finishing ahead of Egypt, Mauritius and South Africa in the third round of Africa qualifying.
Now Algeria can return home with their heads held high. While they might still be searching for their first win in an FIVB tournament, the signs are there that the African champions are taking steps in the right direction to obtain that goal, sooner rather than later.