FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship 2014

Press release

Official press conference before World Championship Opening Match

From the right: Janusz Samel, Micha? Winiarski, Stephane Antiga, Miros??w Przedpe?ski, Alekszndar Borici?, Igor Kolakovi?, Dragan Stankovi?

Warsaw, Poland, August 29, 2014 - The official press conference before the opening ceremony and Poland vs. Serbia opening match of the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship Poland 2014 was held today, at the National Stadium in Warsaw.

Aleksandar Borici? – President of the Serbian Volleyball Federation and FIVB Vice-President: “On behalf of the International Volleyball Federation and our President Ary Graca I would like to express to the Polish Volleyball Federation and the organizing committee for the reception and preparing the biggest event in the history of world volleyball really big ”thank you”. We have worked together for the last two years. Poland is a unique country in volleyball world. Your federation’s work is really professional, your supporters are really well educated and it is something unique that whenever the national team plays in Poland, it plays at a full house. Tomorrow we have a historic opening ceremony and a historic day for volleyball. I think we can start counting the future of volleyball from the 30th of August – from Warsaw. To play in front of 60 thousand spectators is a fantastic thing for all volleyball players but I hope that both teams will give their best for the people in the stadium and all TV viewers, and make it a fantastic day. I am sure that in the other cities, through the whole tournament, Polish people will create the same atmosphere and together with those foreign fans who come to support their teams, they will make this the best World Championship ever.”

Miros?aw Przedpe?ski – President of the Polish Volleyball Federation and FIVB Vice-President: “I have waited for this moment for a couple of years and now I feel very emotional and happy and with the help of my colleagues [Polish team coach and captain] I may soon be the happiest man in the world. I am very happy that we managed to do something that some time ago was just a dream. When I first started talking about organizing a match on the stadium, most people did not understand. Now we can see it for ourselves. We are making history. It is a huge thing and I think that volleyball itself may change a lot from now on, with us having a great part in it – with our work and commitment to volleyball in Poland.”

Micha? Olszewski – Vice-President of the City of Warsaw: August is a great month for sports fans in Warsaw. Tomorrow’s match between Poland and Serbia, which inaugurates the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship is a pinnacle of all events which we had here this month. It also proves that the National Stadium is a multi-purpose venue and not simply a football arena. Exactly one week ago we were concluding preparations for the Kamila Skolimowska Memorial, which gathered such track-and-field stars as Usain Bolt. We were able to put organize these events not only thanks to the venue itself but also very good infrastructure.”

Janusz Samel – Director of Sport and Recreation Bureau of the City of Warsaw: “Just to add one thing - Tomorrow we are breaking a world record in the number of spectators at a volleyball match but we are trying to break another one as well. The Ministry of Sport, together with the City of Warsaw are trying to break the Guinness World Record in simultaneous volleyball passes, at 18.30, on the day of the match, outside the arena.”

Igor Kolakovi? – head coach of the national team of Serbia: “We are very happy and proud to play this historic game. The stadium will be very impressive but we have to focus on the court. In this championship we are not in the first ring of favorites for the medal but we have huge expectations for this championship. We had very good preparation and we are really motivated and would like to play on a high level, play our best volleyball. We will do our best and hope for the best. We cannot promise winning a medal, but we can promise to play every game on a high level.”

Stephane Antiga – head coach of the national team of Poland: “It is difficult to say that we will get a medal, but we are ambitious. From the first day of assembling of this national team we are working really hard, we are preparing for this World Championship. Finally it is coming. Of course we are excited and so for us, for our fans, for all people from the federation, we will do our best. We are ready to fight, so I am sure this opening game will be great and a historic event in the history of volleyball. We are very proud to be a part of this show.”

Dargan Stankovi? – captain of the national team of Serbia: “We are proud to have the honor to be one of the two teams who will open this biggest event in volleyball history. Playing in front of 60,000 people is a great accomplishment for any player, but on the other hand it will be a game like every other – two teams fight for the points, for the first victory in this tournament and both of them have strength and desire to fight for the medals. Our goal is to play every game as the most important.”

Micha? Winiarski – captain of the national team of Poland: “It is hard to add anything new to what has been said here. From my and my team’s side I can only say that we have worked very hard and cannot wait for tomorrow to come and all this to start. We are really curious and want to feel all the thrill that awaits us tomorrow.”

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