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Coaches are ready for Women’s tournament in Barranquilla

BARRANQUILLA, Colombia, July 18, 2018. – Coaches of the eight teams taking part of the women’s volleyball tournament at the 2018 Barranquilla XXIII Central American and Caribbean Games are ready to compete.

After a strong and intense Pan American Cup that finished a few days ago in Santo Domingo, the teams come to Barranquilla in good rhythm, according to coaches’ statements prior to the competition.

Antonio Rizola, Head coach of Colombia: “I expect much from my team, this will be a difficult competition in comparison to that of the Pan American Cup because we have a different responsibility as hosts; after a good result in the Pan American Cup, and everybody expects the most from the team. Our opponents are strong; Costa Rica is maybe the most accessible. We are working in our responsibility as a group and in our confidence; we hope to finish in the top four”.

Cesar Salas, Head coach of Costa Rica: “We are renovating the team; the group has been working since last year’s Central American Games in Nicaragua. We added two more players and we regret not having Mijal Hines because of a health issue. There are some variations, we are looking to grow out of our region and we will give our best, we will push hard so our opponents can feel they are facing a strong team”.

Wilfredo Robinson, Head coach of Cuba: “After finishing the Pan American Cup, we evaluated our performance and we are aiming to finish in third place, which we consider the toughest among the teams here. My team is in good physical condition for the tournament, but there are tough opponents; we think we can reach our goal”.

Marco Kwiek, Head coach of Dominican Republic: “Our preparation has been intense, we are coming out a strong competition back home; and we bring a slight different team. We expect a tough competition, all the teams are in good shape and rhythm, and we will do our best. It’s only natural to bring great responsibility after winning the past four editions of the Games, we are the number on seed and we are the team to beat. The pressure is for the other teams; we must continue performing as we usually do”.

Ricardo Naranjo, Head coach of Mexico: “We restructured our objectives, this is another difficult competition. The team has a good attitude, we have practice well and our priority is to battle to win a medal. We are bringing one more setter; the rest is the same team that played the Pan American Cup”.

Javier Gaspar, Head coach of Puerto Rico: “We are ready for the competition. We are bringing mostly the same team as the Pan American Cup, adding a middle blocker, Jennifer Quezada and we left out Julymar Otero, one of the youngest players that did an excellent job but she wasn’t included to come here. For us this is the most important competition of the year, it’s our Olympic Games of the region. We are focused on winning a medal; we are in good shape to reach our goal”.

Francisco Cruz, Head coach of Trinidad and Tobago: “My team is very tired; we don’t have the proper preparation for such an active season. We were in Canada, in Suriname for the Caribbean Cup and then in Santo Domingo for the Pan American Cup, only well prepared teams are capable to perform at this rhythm; this is not our case because we never train.  I have faced this problem for 12 years since I took charge of the team and I have presented my resignation effective after the FIVB world championship. This competition is part of our preparation for worlds”.

Ihosvani Chamber, Head coach of Venezuela: “I am bringing a U-20 team that has been working since last year, they are very young players, and we are preparing a future generation of players. Our goal is to gain experience and development. This event has high level, NORCECA teams are very competitive as well as Colombia”.