Thursday, 24 July 2014
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 CUB / Cuba - Team Composition  
 
Team manager Diago Izquierdo, Diago
Head coach Perdomo Estrella, Antonio
Assistant coach George Lafita, Eugenio
Doctor Gonzales Niebla, Jorge Luis
Therapist / trainer Oviedo Bonilla, Luis
Journalist
 
No. Name Lastname Shirt Name Birthdate Height Weight Spike Block Club
C 1 Yumilka Ruiz Luaces Ruiz 8/05/1978 179 62 329 315 Camaguey
2   Yanelis Santos Allegne Santos 30/03/1986 183 71 315 312 Ciego de Avilas
3 Nancy Carrillo de la Paz Carrillo 11/01/1986 190 74 318 315 Ciudad Habana
6   Daimi Ramirez Echevarria Ramirez 8/10/1983 176 67 305 290 Ciudad Habana
L 8 Yaima Ortiz Charro Ortiz 9/11/1981 181 72 326 303 Ciudad de la Habana
9   Rachel Sanchez Perez Sanchez 9/01/1989 188 75 315 305 Pinar del Rio
10 Yusleyni Herrera Alvarez Herrera 12/03/1984 178 63 325 305 Cuidad de la Habana
11   Liana Mesa Luaces Mesa 26/12/1977 179 70 318 307 Camaguey
12 Rosir Calderon Diaz Calderon 28/12/1984 191 66 330 325 Ciuda Habana
14   Kenia Carcaces Opón Carcaces 22/01/1986 190 78 306 289 Volero Zürich
15 Yusidey Silie Frometa Silie 11/11/1984 183 80 316 300 Ciudad Habana
18   Zoila Barros Fernández Barros 16/08/1976 188 72 328 307 Ciudad de la Habana
 C=Captain  L=Libero
Team Profile Coach Profile

Cuba's golden era in and around the 1990s is fast fading into the distance.

The Cuban Women won three consecutive Olympic gold medals at Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000, and even collected a bronze medal at Athens 2004.

Cuba won two of their three FIVB World Championships in 1994 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and 1998 in Tokyo, Japan (the other was in 1978 in Saint Petersburg, Russia), and claimed the FIVB World Cup in 1989, 1991, 1995 and 1999.

On top of all that, they claimed the inaugural World Grand Prix in 1993 and won it again in 2000.

Blessed with a plethora of exceptional jumpers and heavy hitters, they were the force to be reckoned with a few years ago.

That's still the case reckons Cuban Head Coach Antonio Perdomo.

He believes his charges can emulate the teams of the past and has indicated that the Cuban's aim at the Beijing Games is to win back the gold medal, though he admitted it wouldn't be an easy task.

Cuban middle blocker and powerful server Nancy Carrillo, elected Cuba's best player in 2007, leads the squad.

The team also consists of veterans Yumilka Ruiz and Zoila Barros and setters Yanelis Santos and Daimi Ramirez.

Last year, Carrillo was the Most Valuable Player of the Pan-American Cup, the Pan-American Games and the NORCECA Continental Tournament.

Ruiz, a member of the gold-medal teams in Atlanta and Sydney and part of the Athens squad, was the Most Valuable Player of the Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament in Monterrey, Mexico, last December.

Trophies have been hard to come by in the last few years for Cuba. They finished just outside the medals at the 2007 FIVB World Cup in fourth position. They were a disappointing seventh at the 2006 FIVB World Championships.

In the FIVB World Grand Prix, the Cubans finished fourth three times in a row from 2004 before another disappointing seventh-placed finish in 2007.

The Cubans have had their hands full during the final stretch to the Olympics, taking part in the China International Tournament, the Montreux Volley Masters in Switzerland, the Pan-American Cup in Baja California, Mexico, and this World Grand Prix.

Antonio Perdomo Estrella has been considered one of the world's best Volleyball coaches for the last 20 years.

 

This was demonstrated when he led Cuba to gold at the FIVB World Championships in 1998 and then gold the following year at the FIVB World Cup.

 

Together with Eugenio George Lafita he won many world competitions, including the Olympic Games, Grand Champions Cup, World Grand Prix, Pan-American Games, Central American and Carribean Games and NORCECA tournaments.

"All my life I've been a coach, If I didn't like to be in the gym every day, I could not have done this for so many years," says Perdomo. "The 1978 World Championship is my best memory. Cuba was nothing in the Volleyball world. Getting first place under these conditions is something unforgettable."

 

He was assistant coach of the Cuban Men's National Team for four years, and in 2007 he took the reins of the Cuban Women's National Team with the aim of taking them back to the top.

 

As a graduate in physical education and FIVB instructor, Perdomo's experience will be a fundamental factor in achieving the ambitious objectives that were set for the Beijing Games. That is to win a fifth-straight medal at the Olympics. He still has some tactical plans up his sleeves, too.

 
"Changing the system with two setters (Cuba is the only one using it) can be done, but we need first to change all the playing system in Cuba, because every team plays like that. So we need to modify first all the players' rhythm and habits. Since we're still obtaining results with this system, we're still using it, but we're ready to change.

"We will change when we will have a very good setter who is not able to attack so well. Now we have two setters with really good attacking skills, and we need to take advantage of this."