Venezuelan beach volleyball benefits from Igor and Fane’s success story
Stare Jablonki, Poland, July 4, 2013 – Igor Hernandez and Jesus Villafane were the first beach volleyball players from Venezuela to participate in the Olympic Games last year in London. They finished 19th and this week at their first FIVB World Championships they booked another success by advancing to the elimination rounds with two wins in pool play.
After the London Olympic Games Igor Hernandez started coaching young beach volleyball players in Venezuela|
One of those wins was a stunning 2-0 win over former world and Olympic champion Todd Rogers and his new partner Ryan Doherty. “It was a big achievement for us to win against an Olympic champion like Rogers”, Villafane said.
It was not the first time they beat the American beach volleyball legend though. The Venezuelans defeated Rogers and his former partner Phil Dalhausser last year at the Berlin Grand Slam. “We played him three times now and won twice, and it means a lot to us.”
It did not go unnoticed back home. “Since we beat the USA in our first game, everyone is very excited about it. The national TV called our hotel room for an interview, they asked about our game and we also did an interview online.”
Venezuelan beach volleyball in the lift
Their success at the Olympics in London last year helped the development of beach volleyball in Venezuela a lot. “Since the Olympic Games more and more young people in Venezuela are interested in beach volley”, Hernandez said.
“We got support from the government after the Olympics. Thanks to that we were able to start different projects and encourage young people to play beach volleyball. We organize events for the junior and youth groups now in Venezuela.”
Hernandez is also involved as a coach in beach volleyball and runs a small beach volleyball school. “There is a new, and very talented generation right now in our country that participated this year in the U19 World Championships in Myslowice and the U21 in Umag.”
Their excellent achievements so far at the World Championships will encourage even more kids to engage in beach volleyball. “This is a great chance for us to represent Venezuela again and show our game to the whole world”, Villafane said.
“Of course the Olympic Games is what we dreamed off, but this event is very important as well. And we hope to have a good result here”, Hernandez said.
Sending home Argentina
In qualifying for the knockout rounds they had to sent home fellow South-Americans Pablo Bianchi and Facundo del Conto from Argentina on Thursday. They won the match 2-1 (21-15 19-21 15-11).
“It was a close game. We knew our opponents very well because we played against them many times before in the South-American competitions”, Hernandez said.
Looking back at the pool phase he said: “It was a difficult group, especially with the United States and the Germans. They are all high in the world rankings. For us and for our country it is an excellent result to qualify for the next round. We are feeling proud to play with the best of the world here.”
- Official FIVB World Congress website now open
- Buenos Aires to welcome Volleyball Your Way festival
- Preparations in full swing at PSL Manila
- Galaxy of Olympic stars in 2016-17 Brazil Superleagues
- Brilliant Barbara, Fabulous Fernanda newest Brazilian beach duo
- Iran, China to clash in final of Men's AVC Cup
- Olympic champs Ludwig and Walkenhorst aiming for new heights
- Iran, Japan, China, Chinese Taipei reach AVC Cup semifinals
- 2017 World League Finals bidding process launched
- Angela Leyva in rising orbit ahead of 2017 World Grand Prix Group 2
- Ricardo and Andre win Brazil Tour opener
- World Championship beckons for Dominican Republic, Argentina and Cuba after U23 Pan Am Cup
- Talita/Larissa win gold at Brazil’s National Tour season opener
- Ahead of 2017 Grand Prix European squads excel in continental qualifiers
- Trentino 4th in Italian Supercup ahead of Club Worlds
- World League hopefuls all advance to European Championship finals
- China, Iran top preliminary-round pools in AVC Cup
- Ze Roberto to stay on as coach of Brazil women's team
- Walsh Jennings entering the “unknown”
- At 34, Isabelle Forrer wraps up a glittering career
- Change of guard for Venezuela's men's National Team after departure of Nacci
- One month on, Rio in our hearts
- China confirm Olympic supremacy with Asian Cup title
- Men's Club World Championship takes on Olympic flavour as rosters are unveiled
- Looking back: China win Olympic gold
- Notable retirements at the SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals
- Beach volleyball players explore Toronto
- Where do beach volleyball players keep their Olympic medals?
- Olympic champions seeking SWATCH Finals validation
- “Johnny Hyden, young and getting younger.”
- Germans not thinking about the money
- High Stakes on Polson Pier Saturday
- How Aleksandrs “The Lion King” Samoilovs earned his nickname
- Former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis watches beach volleyball match
- Epic women's SWATCH semifinals set
- Brazil, Canada, Latvia and Poland post final men's SWATCH pool wins
- Women’s elimination matches highlight Friday’s SWATCH Finals schedule
- Beach volleyball venue earning rave reviews in Toronto
- German gals add drama to their talent
- Polish Pride on Polson Pier
- Busy Beach Volleyball schedule for Polson Pier Thursday
- Hyden's clock still ticking in Toronto
- Brazilians, Canadians & Swiss post opening women’s SWATCH Finals wins
- 2017 World Grand Prix draw completed - Olympic champions China to play silver medallists Serbia in Week 3
- Increase in teams and record prize money headlines World Grand Prix Council meeting
- Referee preparation programme praised
- FIVB Volleyball House wins award for best hospitality house of Olympic Games in Legacy category
- Beach Volleyball vibes in Canada
- Olympic final rematch confirmed as 2017 World League draw completed
- Quality and consistency key to success of a global World League