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Venezuela take first loss, but still eye a medal

Venezuela's Jose 'Tigrito' Gomez (photo) and Ronald 'Bolivar' Fayola
Porto, Portugal, July 12, 2013 – After finishing 25th in Umag at the FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Championships just a few weeks ago Ronald ‘Bolivar’ Fayola and Jose Gregorio ‘Tigrito’ Gomez from Venezuela have their eye on a medal here in Porto at the U19 edition in Porto.

Their 2-0 (21-9 21-18) loss to pool winners Mateusz Lysikowski and Tomasz Wierzbicki on Friday did not change anything to the original plan.

“We still want to be the champion here, this loss means nothing”, Bolivar said. “We just need to regroup and be strong for the rest of the tournament.”

After straight wins over St Lucia (21-8 21-10) and Portugal (21-15 21-16) the Venezuelans could not match strong serving Poland, especially in the first set.

“I think we lost our concentration. We made too many mistakes in reception and defence.”

Bolivar and Tigrito still finished second in their pool and continue in the first elimination round on Saturday. “We lost this match but we will come back strong in the next one. There will be another opportunity to win again. We still feel strong.”

But there are other contenders for the medals of course. “Apart from us, we think Poland and Brazil have some good teams here”, Tigrito said. “And Indonesia is a strong outsider.”

Both players are members of the Venezuelan national selection and train twice a day in their home country. They are travelling through Europe for the first time and participated in Umag at the U21 and now here in Porto. “This is a great experience for us. We have learned a lot.”

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