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FIVB Women's Olympic Games 2008

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Aguero flies to Cuba to visit sick mother; Italian Women’s player set to miss at least three pool games

Italian Women's player Taismary Aguero has flown to Cuba to be with her sick mother
Beijing, China, August 7, 2008 – Italy Women’s player Taismary Aguero has flown to Cuba to visit her seriously ill mother and will miss at least three pool games for the Azzurri at the start of the Olympic Volleyball Tournament.

Cuban-born Aguero, who was granted Italian citizenship last year, left Beijing in the early hours of Thursday morning and Italian newspaper reports said she is not expected to return until Thursday, August 14, the day before Italy play Serbia in Pool B, meaning the player would definitely miss Italy’s first three pool games against Russia, Kazakhstan and Algeria. Italy’s last pool game is against Brazil on Sunday, August 17.

Head of the Italian delegation Alberto Rabiti said that, all going well, Aguero would be back in Beijing for the quarter-finals at the latest.

"If she is admitted to enter Cuba, Aguero will be back to Beijing to play for the quarter-finals," said Rabiti on Thursday. "As we plan to see her coming back to Beijing soon, there will be no substitute to make up for her absence. They (the players) will remain 11," said Rabiti.

The 31-year-old Aguero, who had a glittering career with the Cuban National Team in the 1990s before moving to Italy in 2001, is reportedly being accompanied by Italian team manager Stefano Sciascia on the trip to be beside her 61-year-old mother Dulce Fedora. Aguero’s Italian husband Alessio Botteghi is reportedly already in Cuba. It will be Aguero’s first time in the country in seven years.

Italian Women’s Head Coach Massimo Barbolini was quoted as saying, “First of all is the sorrow of the girl, all the other considerations come after her decision to go to Cuba to be with her 61-year-old mother. Her absence in the first games of the Olympic Tournament is one more obstacle for us but this is a team used to overcoming adversity, gritting their teeth and going forward anyway. I am confident the team will do it this time as well.”

Aguero, who plays in the opposite position, led Cuba to Olympic gold medals at the Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000 Olympics, also winning the FIVB World Championship in 1998 and FIVB World Cup in 1995 and 1999.

Aguero married Italian Botteghi in 2006 and became a National Team player the following year. Aguero claimed the Most Valuable Player award as Italy won the European Championships in 2007 and was part of the victorious team that secured the 2007 FIVB World Cup in Japan.
  
 

 

  
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