Hosts Cameroon survived a major scare in their opening match of the Women’s African Olympic Volleyball Qualification tournament in Yaoundé, losing a 2-0 lead before eventually recovering in the tie-break for a 3-2 win over Tunisia.
The home country appeared to be in complete control having taken the first two sets, but Tunisia came back strongly, inspired by substitute Nihel Kebaier, who replaced their main setter Maroua Boughanmi.
The decider proved to be a step too far, though, for the visitors as Cameroon regained their composure to seal a 25-20, 25-20, 29-31, 21-25, 15-6 win and get their Pool A campaign off to a successful start.
Moma Laetitia was Cameroon’s highest scorer with 20 points, while Rahma Agrebi topped Tunisia’s charts with 11.
Cameroon joined Pool B’s Egypt and Algeria as winners on the first day of the tournament featuring seven teams fighting for just one automatic place at Rio 2016.
Egypt cruised to a 25-12, 25-18, 25-19 win against Uganda and Algeria were equally as comfortable, beating Botswana 25-22, 25-22, 25-10.
The second and third placed teams from the competition will earn a place at an intercontinental qualifier due to be held in the period from May 14 to June 5.
Lying in wait are Colombia and Puerto Rico, the third placed teams from the South American and North, Central America and Caribbean qualifiers respectively.
Six countries have already qualified for the women’s competition at Rio 2016.
Hosts Brazil have already been joined by China, Serbia, Russia, Argentina and the United States.
Action in Yaoundé is due to continue tomorrow when Tunisia face Kenya in Pool A.
Prior to that, Uganda meet Algeria and Egypt go up against Botswana in Pool B.
Algeria are bidding to reach their third consecutive Olympics having competed at Beijing 2008 and London 2012.