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Coaches with different goals in the Women’s Pan American Cup

Front row from left: Cibrian (MEX), Yong (PER), Guimaraes (BRA), Dominguez (GUA), Godinez (CRC). Back row: Drakes (TRI), Kwiek (DOM), McCutcheon (USA), Ludwig (CAN), Bastit (ARG) and Cardona (PUR)

Miami, Florida, June 25, 2009 - The coaches participating in the Eighth Women’s Pan American Cup talked about its objectives and goals one day away of the start of the competition where four teams will book tickets to the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix.

Some of them have their teams still battling in the qualification process toward next year’s World Championships, while others are beginning to prepare their sides in the early stages of the new Olympic cycle.

Defending champions Dominican Republic are playing in Pool B along with Olympic gold medalists Brazil, Argentina, Canada and Trinidad and Tobago. The Olympic silver medalists USA are competing in Pool A along with teams from Puerto Rico, Mexico, Peru, Costa Rica and Guatemala.

Here you have some excerpts of the coaches’ statements:

Horacio Bastit (Argentina)

“We continue to renovate our team despite the third place we accomplished last year in Mexico. We need to keep that process of renovation. Our objective here: This is a competition before the qualification to the World Championship so we need to prepare the team for the goal to get the ticket to Japan.”

Roberto Guimaraes (Brazil)

“For us it is very important to take part in the Pan American Cup because we are at the beginning of a new Olympic cycle. The teams are here to know each other better. For this young Brazilian team it is important to compete against such strong teams playing in this cup.”

Arnd Ludwig (Canada)

“I am very excited because it is my first international competition coaching Team Canada. I have been working with the team for the last six weeks. We just played three friendly matches against Peru and hope the girls can show on court what they show in practice.”

Braulio Godinez (Costa Rica)

“Our main goal is to get ready for the next event in Orlando, the FIVB World Championship Qualification Tournament. Our team is mixed with a group of experienced players and new players. We expect USA and Puerto Rico to be strong in our group, with Brazil and Dominican Republic being the top contenders in Group B.”

Marcos Kwiek (Dominican Republic)

“The Dominican Republic arrives to this Pan American Cup as defending champions and it will be a pleasure to play against the two teams that played the finals in last year’s Olympics at Beijing. We will be looking to finish first again but above all things it will be a joy to be competing at this level.”

Julio Dominguez (Guatemala)

“The group of players we have here in Miami is very young as it is a development team. We are looking for competition experience to be able to compete within the Central America region, especially in the youth category as many of our players are in this age group. In our group, Costa Rica will be our main competition within the region. This is the most important match for us. We also think USA is the team to be beaten in this tournament by everyone.”

Samuel Cibrian (Mexico)

“The Mexican Team is very happy to be here in Miami. Our perspective is to qualify for the second round. We understand the level is very high at this tournament, and our group is very strong with United States and Puerto Rico. We expect to do our best. We have a young team with some older players. Our plan is preparing for next year’s FIVB World Championship, and this competition will be very useful to us.”

Kim Choel Yong (Peru)

“We have come prepared to be in the quarterfinals. After that, we will evaluate the other teams and start the new stage of the tournament. In order to achieve this, we need to beat Canada and USA. We don’t want to overlook any opponent as Mexico is very good also.”

Carlos Cardona (Puerto Rico)

“For our sport goal, we expect to reach the semifinals. As our tournament objectives, this is a new team with a new system to verify our job. We don’t know all the teams very well, but USA and Puerto Rico is supposed to be a good challenge in our group.”

Nicholson Drakes (Trinidad & Tobago)

“Our team is using the tournament to grow to the higher level and we expect to improve in our standing. I think this will be a very unique opportunity to gain experience competing against stronger opposition. The exposure of our players to this competition also will be helpful for our hopes of qualifying to the World Championship during the playoff round next month.”

Hugh McCutcheon (United States)

“We are very happy to be playing in the United States to start the season. It is always great to play here in front of the USA fans. At the start of the quadrennial, we are focusing on our side of the net. We understand that there are a lot of good teams here. However, our focus will be on USA and the systems we want to implement over the next four years.”



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