With the African Volleyball Championships two weeks away in Egypt, Rwanda national team coach Paul Bitok has made his intentions clear.

The side will be playing for a top four finish as they will also use the tournament to prepare for the All Africa Games this September in Congo Brazzaville.

We are targeting the semi-finals so that we can have a good ranking next year because in the next World League, Africa will be having two more slots because Egypt have already qualified for the second round which will be Tunisia and another country

Bitok told newtimes.co.rw before revealing his other targets.

We want to use this competition as preparation for the All Africa Games. I do not want to put pressure on the players because it is a very short training time to get high results but going by what we have been doing for the last four years, I believe Rwanda has risen to a very good level so our target is to be in the semifinal

The former Kenyan International wants to see the East African country compete with the big boys though he concedes it won’t be easy.  

I know it is going to be very, very tough because we have Egypt who have just qualified for the second round in the FIVB World League, Tunisia who have also participated in the World League, Cameroon who made it to the quarter-finals of the World Championships

The Championship that is set to start on July 21-30 in Cairo, Egypt will also have other countries like Algeria and Tunisia.

There is also Algeria that we have never beaten and Morocco is also coming up very well. And of course our East African rivals Kenya. If we meet them, it will be tough

Bitok has summoned a 17 man provisional squad that has the skipper Christopher Mukunzi and his assistant Lawrence Yakan, the former is recovering from a wrist Injury while the latter is fighting to overcome a knee injury.

Provisional squad:

Setters: Hervé Kagimbura, Ivan Mahoro Nsabimana, Eugène Tuyishime and Jean Paul Sibomana

Middle blockers: Théodore Muyango, Fred Musoni, Fabrice Nkezabahizi, Vincent Dusabimana, William Mudaheranwa and Pierre Marshal Kwizera.

Right attackers: Olivier Ntagengwa, Christophe Mukunzi, Flavien Ndamukunda, Samuel Niyogisubizo, Patrick Kavalo and Aimable Mutuyimana

Left attackers: Nelson Murangwa, Yves Mutabazi and Yakan Lawrence Guma.

Libero: Bosco Mutabazi, Emile Karera and Théophile Ngabo

Senior staff writer at Kawowo Sports mainly covering volleyball, football and badminton

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