DOUALA (Olympics 2016) - Cameroon's dream of reaching the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics remains very much alive as the country's basketball federation (FECABASKET) confirmed the participation of its senior women's side at this summer's 12-team FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament (WOQT) to be held in France.
In the process, Senegal clinched the only ticket on offer for African teams for the Olympics, while Cameroon - along with Nigeria who finished third - earned the two places for African teams for the WOQT.
Speculation about Cameroon's presence at the WOQT started circulating. While some suggested a dispute between players and FECABASKET over bonuses - which ended up being paid - would jeopardise the team's morale, others believed the Central Africans wouldn't stand a chance to do battle to grab one of the five places up for grabs in the WOQT, and as result should withdraw.
FECABASKET President Samuel Nduku has stepped forward to clarify what the future holds for the team.
"We are going to participate in the tournament, and we already have a plan in place," he told FIBA.com.
"As we speak, our plan is to hold our team first training camp in April or May in Italy," he said.
Zedong, who was yet to hear about his future with team, emphasised the benefits of competing in a world stage event.
"We reached the Semi-Finals [at AfroBasket Women] for the second time in a row, and we just need to keep on working," said the man who guided the national team to the last four at the 2013 and 2015 editions of the continental championship.
Looking back at AfroBasket Women 2015 held in Cameroon's capital city of Yaounde, Zedong believes the outcome could have been different had his team remained injury-free.
"Congratulations to Senegal for winning the title. We were unfortunate that some of our key players got injured in critical moments of the competition, and we were unable to respond," he said. "Priscilla [Mbiandja], Nicole [Jamen] and Miesha [Blackshear] suffered injuries, and those circumstances affected the team badly. At that moment we needed encouragement, but we didn't have one.
"We started off well, but by the time we reached the Semi-Finals, my players looked exhausted. They did the best they could but I can't blame them for the loss in the Final."
Cameroon will find out their WOQT opponents on Tuesday 26 January when FIBA hosts the tournament draw in Mies, Switzerland.