inaugural World Championship title in 2002, Italian women's volleyball coach Marco
Bonitta is eager to taste more success in a new
2003 the 40-year-old Bonitta turned down a
mountain of overseas offers to sign a four-year
extension to his two-year Italian coaching
contract and after leading the Italian women's
team to their best international performance in
Germany he is already looking to make further
space in the trophy cabinet.
"After winning the World Championship I want an Olympic medal now," he said.
"The main objective is a European
Championship title before aiming for the Olympics.
"The World Grand Prix is an ideal stepping stone
in the whole process. We go into the Grand Prix to
take a medal but it will serve us well in
preparation for Olympics. All the girls have
started a personalized program in order to be in
the best possible shape come August 2004. I do not
speak about gold at the moment but if we arrive at
Athens in the same condition as we did at the
World Championship we will definitely be on track."
Although Bonitta didn't achieve the first leg of
his plan - Italy finished a disappointing
seventh at the 2003 European Championship - he
will be looking for a suitable performance in
the 2004 World Grand Prix to be ready for Athens.
Italy finished fifth at the 2003 World Grand
Prix before putting in a superb performance in
Japan to finish just outside the medals in
fourth at the 2003 World Cup. The roller coaster
ride continued for Italy in Olympic
qualification matches. The missed out at the
European Continental Qualification tournament
but eventually claimed the final spot by
finishing fourth at the World Olympic
Qualification tournament in May.
Another aim of Bonitta's is to improve Italy's
world ranking where they currently sit sixth. "They
will be four important years in which we are
obligated to start a new cycle.
"When finishing this term I hope to leave the team
in the top three of the world rankings".