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FIVB Men's Olympic Games 2008

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Head Coaches gather to preview Olympic Volleyball Tournaments at press conference

The 24 Head Coaches of the Men's and Women's teams competing at the Olympic Volleyball Tournaments gather in Beijing on Friday

Beijing, China, August 8, 2008 Ė The Head Coaches of the 24 Menís and Womenís Volleyball teams taking part in the Olympic Games spoke at an official FIVB press conference at the Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing after the FIVB General Technical Meeting on Friday. Extracts:


Italy Head Coach Massimo Barbolini

On changing game strategy after Taismary Aguero left Beijing to go back to Cuba where her mother is sick: "We have no choice but to change our strategy. The alternatives we have are either to use two receivers or one receiver and two opposites. We will decide which one to use match after match."

"Our team is used to changing strategy and switching players as that is what we have done throughout the grand prix this year."

On the mood of the team after Aguero's departure: "They are in a good mood. We have been waiting for the start of the Games for a long time, not only the match against Russia, but the start of the Olympics in general."

"Unfortunately it (Aguero's departure) has happened. Now we have to react and to think about what to do to make up for it. Coming to the Olympics after many international successes has already been an amazing result for us."

Venezuela Head Coach Tomas Fernandez (Cuba)

On the competition: "I'm glad to be here today. Our purpose is to see what international competition is like, we can learn from this experience for future training. We hope we can get good development in the future."

Serbia Head Coach Zoran Terzic

On the team's first Olympic experience: "Of course it will be very difficult as we don't have any experience but we have our target set on winning a medal. We hope to do our very best."

China Head Coach Chen Zhonghe

On adjustments the team has made since the 2008 Grand Prix: "Although we didn't get a good result at the most recent Grand Prix, we've recovered. We've summarised our problems and recovered our physical strength. However, Kun Feng and Ruirui Zhao haven't yet reached their best level (after recent injuries)."

Kazakhstan Head Coach Viktor Zhuravlev

On their first Olympic experience: "As there are very strong teams it's a good opportunity to gain some experience and I wish all the teams good health."

Brazil Head Coach Jose Roberto Guimaraes

On the Brazil Women's team preparations for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games: "We have had a different preparation (compared to Athens). I started coaching Brazil in 2003, so the team that went to Athens had been prepared mostly by Brazil's former coach."

"With this group I started a new cycle of work and during these last four years we have played about 140 matches at official and unofficial tournaments, after which we have defined this squad."

On their expectations after a good performance at the Grand Prix: "I think there is balance among the girls. We have a strong group and this is positive on one side because you can keep the rhythm beating strong teams from the beginning of the Games. On the other hand, qualifying for the quarterfinals is what counts, but to win at the quarterfinals is the most important thing."

"We aim for a medal, for reaching the podium. Having performed well at the Grand Prix doesn't say too much (about our level) though, because many teams were not at full strength. Italy played without Simona Gioli and then also without Antonella Del Core, Cuba played without Nancy Carrillo and Rosir Calderon. USA were also not competing with the whole team."

On what they focused on since 2004: "I think this team is more versatile than the one that played in Athens. These girls can play in different roles, they are technically more complete. This is what we have been focusing on."

On whether replacing Athens main setter Fernanda Venturini with setter Helia Souza will change Brazil's game: "She and Fernanda have the same level. They are both high level players. It doesn't change too much for our game."


Venezuela Head Coach Ricardo Navajas (Brazilian)

On the Olympic experience: "It is an honour to be here. We are a new team so we take it as a good chance to learn from this experience."

Serbia Head Coach Igor Kolakovic (Montenegro)

On Serbia's goals: "I'm glad to be here. I feel satisfied to have qualified for the Olympic Games. Our dream is to win a medal but our first goal is to reach the quarterfinals, after that we will talk about a medal. We hope to do our best."

China Head Coach Jianan Zhou

On the condition of the team: "We are cherishing this opportunity. We've made all possible preparations and the team is ready to achieve its best result."

Brazil Head Coach Bernardo Rezende

On their expectations: "You cannot predict the final, a lot of teams here (represent) very tough competition. Our aim is to get the gold medal."



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