Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, July 30, 2010 – The men’s Volleyball tournament at the XXI Central American Games concluded with two thrilling matches as hosts Puerto Rico claiming its third consecutive gold medal and fourth overall in the history of the competition.
Puerto Rico edged Venezuela for the title in front of around 6,000 fans while Mexico took the bronze prevailing over the Dominican Republic, and with all three teams on the podium set to take part in the FIVB Men’s World Championship in Italy it proved the perfect preparation.
"This third gold medal is very special because I earned it in front of my fans, my parents, my wife and my little daughter," MVP Soto said. "I am going to enjoy it."
"The MVP is a great honor but I don’t play alone so the trophy also belongs to my teammates and my coach Carlos Cardona," Soto added.
Puerto Rico v Venezuela
Puerto Rico claimed its third consecutive men’s Volleyball gold medal and fourth overall in the history of the Central American and Caribbean Games by defeating Venezuela in a thrilling five-setter (18-25, 25-22, 25-19, 20-25, 20-18) in the final before a sold out crowd at Mayaguez Sport Palace on Thursday. The world no.15 had Hector Soto as their best scorer with 25 points. Victor Rivera contributed 19 while Jose Rivera and Enrique Escalante charted 14 and 11 respectively. Venezuelan Carlos Tejeda topped his side with 19 points. Harry Gomez, Luis Diaz and Fredy Cedeno compiled 17, 14 and 10.
Mexico v Dominican Republic
Mexico came back from two sets down to defeat the Dominican Republic in five sets (21-25, 23-25, 25-15, 25-16, 15-7) claiming the bronze medal. For Mexico, winners of five gold and six silvers, this is their fifth bronze medal in twenty editions of the tournament.
Ivan Contreras and Tomas Aguilera registered 22 and 20 points for Mexico while Samuel Cordova and Irving Bricio totaled 16 and 14 respectively. Dominican Jose Caceres accounted for 24 points and Pedro Garcia and Ernis Palomino registered 15 and 11.
"For several times now in recent times we have been able to come from behind to defeat the Dominican Republic," Mexican Contreras said. "I am extremely happy with this result but I also have to say that it was not easy."
FIVB Press Department Director - Richard Baker
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