PRESS RELEASE 05.09.2003


2003 World Women’s Under-20 Volleyball Championship

Suphan Buri, Thailand, September 5, 2003 – What the coaches say about their team's chances BRAZIL (defending three-time world champions, South American champions)
“We are well-prepared for the Championship. Against Cuba in our first match on Saturday (September 6), I think we have a chance to beat them. We trained intensively not only to beat our rivals in the group round-robin preliminaries, but also to defend the world title,” - head coach Wadson Lima.

CHINA (current Asian champions and 1995 world champions in Bangkok)
“Our youth team won the recent World Girls’ Youth Under-18 Championship in Poland. That was good proof that China could make it no matter what age groups we are competing in. However, my team is not the one playing in Poland. Therefore, there's no players from the youth squad in my team this time. Apart from playing in this World Championship, this team will also target the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing,” – head coach Cai Bin.

SOUTH KOREA (former two-time world champions, second place in 2001 World Championship in Dominican Republic)
“Last time in the Dominican Republic, we lost in straight sets to Brazil in the final showdown. That was just a nightmare for my team. We come back stronger this time, hoping to revive our fortunes in the World Championship. I dare not say if our winning the world title here is possible. It’s up to our form each day,” – head coach Kim Kyung-Soo.

RUSSIA (former two-time world champions)
“In my opinion, every team stands an equal chance of winning the world title here. We can not underestimate the other teams. I don’t want to say that my team will win the world crown. I just keep on telling my girls to show their teamwork and tactics. Win or loss, it will be decided in the game,” – head coach Pavel Matienko.

PUERTO RICO (North American champions)
“An uphill task awaits us in the World Championship. This is a top-level tournament. It’s too early to say that we are sure of making it to the second round. My team are inexperienced. However, they trained hard for around seven months before coming here. Therefore, it’s not too bad to say that hard work should be handsomely rewarded to my team,” – head coach Luis Garcia

CHINESE TAIPEI (fifth place in the 1993 Brasilia edition)
“We are in Group C with China, Germany and Ukraine. It’s quite a tough draw. However, my team is used to taking on Germany and we are sure that the winning chance can be within our reach. If luck is with us, I do hope that my girls will advance to the semifinals,” – head coach Lin Kuang Hung

THE NETHERLANDS (fifth place in the 1995 Bangkok edition)
“This is our second attempt in the World Championship. We finished fifth in 1995 in Thailand. Now, we expect a brighter future in the same venue. Against Venezuela in the curtain-raiser on Saturday, I think it’s a competitive competition so we have many things to do in the game. However, I secretly hope that my girls would make it to the second round,” – head coach Saskia Van Hintum.

VENUZUELA (finished the similar 13th in all four times of their presence in the World Championship)
“Thirteen is apparently our unlucky number. However, we hope to break the jinx this time. I think we have to try hard to register victories match by match. Every team is strong and we can’t underestimate any team here,” – head coach Irina Bespalova.

ALGERIA (African champions, ninth place in 2001)
“Last time in the Dominican Republic, we finished a disappointing ninth. This time, we are playing in Thailand. It should be a tough match against hosts Thailand on Saturday since home crowds are expected to cheer them on all the way. We haven't played Thailand before, but we can't underestimate them. Just wait and see what will happen in the match. It tells everything,” – head coach Mouzaia Abdelmadjid.

GERMANY (first at Youth Olympic Games, ninth place in 2001 in the Dominican Republic)
“We finished ninth in the Dominican Republic two years ago. We look forward to making amends in this World Championship. I told my girls to fight all-out in every match they compete in. I believe that my team are capable of making it to the second round. We will be there altogether,” – head coach Rudi Sonnenbichler.

“This is our first attempt in the World Championship. Against Russia in our opener on Saturday, I told my girls to do their best to beat them. The first win will help give my team a big boost playing in the preliminaries and following rounds alike. We trained hard and gained valuable experience competing in Poland and Germany in preparation for this World Championship. I hope that we will have a good tournament,” – head coach Vladimir Kozlov.

UKRAINE (second place in 1993 in Brasilia)
“After failing to make the cut for the previous World Championship in the Dominican Republic, we trained hard and successfully made it this time. I think my team have good preparation for the world meet here. It will be shown in the game. Like the other teams, we hope to win every match we take part in. Only the best-prepared teams will make it to next rounds,” – head coach Volodymyr Buzayev.

TURKEY (eighth position in 2001)
“We play Poland in our first match on Saturday. They beat us 3-1 in the European Championship, where they captured the eventual title. Despite the loss, I think my team gained experience. Now, we know how to match them competitively. I dare say we have a chance to avenge them,” – head coach Kistak Adnan.

POLAND (European champions, 13th place in 2001)
“We are in Group D with Brazil, Turkey and Cuba. Among the four teams in the group, I think Brazil is the strongest. However, we will try our best not to finish on the bottom of the group which will help our team survive the first-round exit. My team had trained hard during the past couple years. I’m sure that my girls will come out with great form to successfully make their way to the next round,” – head coach Pec Andrzej.

THAILAND (host team, second place in Asian Championship, 13th in 1995 in Bangkok)
“In fact, there are five national senior players in my team. However, since the Asian Championship in Vietnam, which will serve as the Athens Olympic Games qualifying Asian Zone, is forthcoming, we let three of them including hard-hitting Amporn Yapha join the senior squad to compete in the Asian meet. We have only two senior nationals – Naruemon Khan-an and Vilawan Apinyapong. Unfortunately, the duo had the measles and had to pull out of the competition. Though without both of them, we still have our sights firmly set on making it to the quarter-finals in the World Championship,” – head coach Sorat Wannawong.

CUBA (former two-time world champions)
Cuba did not take part in the press conference on Friday because the team only arrived two hours afterwards.