December 22, 2003 - Cuba joined China, Brazil, United States and Greece as one of the women's teams already with a berth in the next Olympic Games after trouncing Dominican Republic in straight sets 25-18, 25-18, 25-11 in just over an hour.
It was an artistic and powerful performance from the three-time Olympic champions and there was no doubt which team was the best one on court.
Veterans Zoila Barros and Yumilka Ruiz collected 15 and 14 points respectively and emerging stars Nancy Carrillo and Yaima Ortiz scored nine points apiece. For the Dominicans, Kenia Moreta and Milagros Cabral registered nine apiece.
"We are very happy with this victory and one place in the Olympics," said Luis Felipe Calderon. "We came here with that in mind and made it happen".
"Our athletes put their best effort and you have to give them all the credit. We worked very hard in our service game and today it carried us to the victory."
Jorge Garbey, the Dominican coach, praised the Cuban squad saying "the team who played better won the match. It was also the team with a deeper fighting spirit."
"We now have to prepare to play against Argentina, Peru and Venezuela in January in our last chance to make the Olympics," said Garbey. "We have defeated them recently but we need to keep concentrating over the Christmas period in order to accomplish that goal."