Venezuela - Pool A (Scroll down for Spanish)
Venezuela has been so far in the shadow of the two dominant Volleyball superpowers of the South American continent, Brazil and Argentina. But this country's national team already showed its quality on the international scene at the World Championship in Brazil in 1960, its first ever, where it claimed a solid tenth place.
A new era for Volleyball in Venezuela began in 1992 when the country embarked on an ambitious plan to develop the sport, focusing on competitions in the youth
categories. With Cuban coach Jose David Suarez Perez at the helm, himself a former member of Cuba's national squad, their development plan has begun to pay off. Venezuelan Volleyball has been on the ascendance ever
since. The country's junior team has already been among the best in the world, winning the valuable bronze medal at the last World Championship of this category in Poland in 2001.
In that same year, Perez led Venezuela to the FIVB elite World League for the first time, a clear signal of the new status of the country's
Volleyball. In the 2002 edition of the World League Venezuela managed only one victory over Cuba, an indication that work still has to be done to reach the pinnacle and successfully challenge the superpowers.
There is however little doubt that this youthful squad, with players of the caliber of 21-year-old Ernardo 'Harry' Gomez as its main attacking force, certainly has a future.
In the 2003 edition, Venezuela, currently 17th at the FIVB World ranking, will play in Pool A, together with mighty Russia, Poland and
Squad: Reyes (Indios de Miranda, VEN) ; Blanco (Nautico Hacaoaj, ARG) ;
Rojas (Olympiakos, GRE); Valderrama (Vigo, ESP) ;
Valera (Indios de Miranda, VEN) ; Luna (Zulia, Venezuela) ;
Diaz (Aragua, VEN); Manzanillo (University of Buenos Aires);
Guzman (Giogia de Cole, ITA) ; Mendez (Bolivar, Venezuela) ;
Gomez (Bolivar, VEN) ; Tejeda (Obras Sanitarias,
ARG) ; Sarti Ereu (Montova, VEN) ; Marquez (DDTO Capital, VEN) ;
Silva (Regatas san Nicolas, ARG); J.C. Blanco (Indios de Miranda, VEN) ;