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Serbia seeking flying start in Pool A

The six coaches in Tokyo (L-R) Ikhedji Mouloud (Algeria), Braulio Godinez (Costa Rica), Masayoshi Manabe (Japan), Kim Cheol Yong (Peru), Jerzy Matlak (Poland), Zoran Terzic (Serbia)

Tokyo, Japan, October 28, 2010 – Bronze medallists four years ago, Serbia are hopeful of a repeat performance at the 2010 FIVB Women’s World Championship according to coach Zoran Terzic.

Speaking at the official press conference for Pool A in Tokyo on Thursday, Terzic said his young side, ranked ninth in the world, were ready to give everything at the tournament starting with their first challenge on Friday against a Costa Rica side whom they have never played before.

FIVB Women's World Championships official page

It is the second match in Pool A, starting at 3pm local time, and Terzic said: "We have never played against Costa Rica but if you want to play at a high level, you must play every game with 100 per cent of your power. We will start to play this way tomorrow. We are a young side but we hope to give our all throughout the tournament."

On Serbia's opponents, Terzic added: "It doesn't matter if it's Costa Rica or any other team. The World Championships are the World Championships and these are not friendly games. If Serbia want to win tomorrow we must do our best."

His Costa Rica counterpart, Braulio Godinez, is hoping for a stronger showing in Japan than his team managed four years ago. "I'm very pleased to be back in Tokyo," he said. "Four years ago in the World Championship here we won one match against Kenya. Hopefully we will win more this time."

Godinez emphasised that participating in this tournament will be of great value to Coast Rica. "The best thing is that our young players will have a very good experience in top-level championships here."

As hosts, Japan will be looking to make their mark in the tournament, but coach Masayoshi Manabe knows their challenge will be a tough one. "The other five teams [in Pool A] are very strong. That's my motivation. We must give our very best effort in every single match.  Our total strength will be required to achieve a good result."

He acknowledged that the intensity of the event could take its toll on the team, noting: "We will have 11 matches in 17 days, so it's a tough competition." Japan's first opponents will be Poland and Manabe expects a hard-fought match. "My impression of Poland is that they are very powerful with a big height advantage. So in order to beat them it's difficult, but we have to deliver our own Japanese style of Volleyball."

Poland coach Jerzy Matlak got right to the point when discussing his goals for the tournament. "It's very simple," he said. "We want to play the best and get the highest possible place in the tournament." Regarding a Japan team that Poland have come to know well, he believes his players will need to perform at their best to get the better of the hosts. "Japan are one of the favourites, maybe even a favourite for a medal. We have a lot of advantages to win against Japan, I just hope we will do it."

Rounding off Pool A are Algeria and Peru. Coach Ikhedji Mouloud has been at the Algeria helm since 2006 and he hopes that his team can improve on their only other FIVB competition experience at the 2008 Olympic Games. "This is my second important international event, after the Beijing Olympic Games," he explained. "I hope we'll achieve a better result than we did in Beijing."

Likewise, Kim Cheol Yong hopes that his Peru squad can deliver a solid performance here in Tokyo. "We're very happy to participate in this World Championship tournament. Our aim is to play our best in this pool and go past the first round. That's our foremost goal in the tournament." Peru face Algeria in the first match at Yogogi Stadium at 12:30 (local time), with Serbia taking on Costa Rica at 15:00 and Japan meeting Poland at 18:45.

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