Tokyo, Japan, December 2, 2007: Comments from the official FIVB press conference after the Bulgaria-Argentina game on Sunday.
Head Coach Martin Stoev: For sure this was not our best game, but the most important thing was to gain the victory. Our team has become very tired and we had small injuries. This became a handicap, but after an interval of 12 years we could reach the Olympics. From this point of view we were able to show the Bulgarian volleyball style. Two months ago we lost in the European Championship and this was quite disappointing, but in our meetings after that we gathered team spirit and everybody understood the main goal was to gain the ticket for the Olympics. This was the key point, and we came up in this short period.
Captain Plamen Konstantinov: I am very happy about this victory and about this tournament because finally we reached the Olympics. This was the most important tournament for us of this year and maybe of the last four years because we were preparing all those years to reach the Olympics next year. So this is a big day for Bulgarian volleyball. We did not qualify for the last two Olympic Games. We played there the last time at Atlanta 1996, so it is very important to go for this Olympic Games because we have a good team. I am very happy that we showed character in the difficult moments of this tournament, like the game with Russia and the last two games yesterday and today. I hope we will make a great Olympic Games.
Vladimir Nikolov: This was an extremely important game, especially for me personally because this was maybe the first and last chance for me to go to the Olympics. The Olympics is the dream for every athlete, so even though we are very tired we put maximum concentration and maximum motivation. I am very happy we won. Before coming here we knew we would have a chance to go to the Olympics from this tournament. We wanted to take this visa (ticket) and finally and fortunately we succeeded. (On the influence of Matey Kaziyski in the team): Through his entry into the team our firepower became much more. Of course he is helping the team a lot.
(On preparations for Beijing next August): I will play in Italy until the end of May and after that the coaches and team staff will make the best preparations for the Olympics. I can guarantee that everybody in the Bulgarian national team and national federation will do our best for the ultimate preparation.
Head Coach Jon Uriarte: First of all we want to congratulate Bulgaria for qualifying for the Olympic Games. It is a big achievement and they were very well prepared and worked very hard. For us this tournament was very important. We faced a very delicate process because we have some new faces in the team and some harsh problems, but we have to keep the Argentine history of volleyball, so it is a very important goal for Argentina to qualify for the Olympic Games. We have played with a lot of energy and determination at key moments, and day by day we have become a stronger team. Now we have to prepare for the South American qualification competition.
Guillermo Garcia: We suffered in the first set with the pressure from the Bulgarian serve. In the last two sets we played quite well but made some mistakes and the result went to Bulgaria.