Historic success for Mexico
Lausanne, Switzerland, July 28, 2014 - For the first time in 32 years, both of Mexico's teams will take part in the FIVB World Championships. In Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, the Mexican women were the 24th and final team to secure a ticket to the FIVB Women’s World Championships from September 23-October 12 in Italy. It was a historic success, but Mexico's volleyball celebrations were brief.
Mexico before their World Grand Prix match against Bulgaria|
After all, their first game in the FIVB World Grand Prix took place at the Olympic Gymnasium Juan de la Barrera in Mexico City on Friday, where they were matched up with Kenya. Their other opponents in the first weekend of their first participation in the World Grand Prix were Algeria and Bulgaria. The games should prove to be the perfect preparation for their seventh appearance at the FIVB World Championships.
Mexico's best result at a world championship was a tenth place in 1974 at the tournament organised in their country. That result triggered enthusiasm for volleyball in Mexico. Now Mexico are working their way back to the top of international volleyball. "Women's volleyball has awakened, it has been very fast and intense work with Professor Jorge Azair and the girls have a lot of determination," said Jesus Perales Navarroi, President of the Mexican Volleyball Federation (FMVB).
They proved this at the play-off tournament for the final world championship ticket. After three commanding victories against Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua, the team also held their nerve when they came up against hosts Trinidad and Tobago, unbeaten until that point. The 3-0 result (25-14, 31-29, 25-17) was only briefly in doubt in the second set. Mexican coach Miguel Jorge Azair said: “We won against a very good team. Mexico played very hard and they were extremely focused. The girls showed hunger.”
Mexico's women also won the majority of the individual awards at the tournament. Lizbeth Sainz, who was the top scorer in the final with 16 points, was voted Best Attacker and also collected the prestigious MVP award. Others who collected prizes for the champions were Lizbeth López (Best Receiver), Claudia Resendiz (Best Setter) and captain Andrea Rangel, who was voted Best Opposite. However, the competition will be tougher at the World Championships and Mexico are the underdogs in one of the most even groups in the preliminary round. Mexico have been placed in Group G, with defending champions Russia, the USA, Thailand, the Netherlands and Kazakhstan.
“It will be an extremely difficult task, but we are trying to prepare perfectly,” said Azair. After all, the Mexican Volleyball Federation has a vision: it wants to be a major world player in Volleyball by 2030. The association does a lot to promote the sport in the country, which is predominantly obsessed with football. Major events have been targeted time and again in recent years, particularly focusing on the junior team, one of the most recent examples being the FIVB U-23 World Championships. And in recent days, the U-17 Beach Volleyball World Championships were hosted by Acapulco. The investment in talent development and attempts to increase public interest in volleyball are starting to pay off.
The men qualified before the women. In 2010, Mexico secured a ticket to the FIVB World Championship for the first time in almost three decades via the playoffs – which resulted in a respectable 13th place overall. They qualified directly this time and have used their first ever participation in the FIVB World League to prepare for the World Championships.
Mexico's qualification for the Men's and Women's World Championships represents another step in the right direction as the country aims to become one of the sport's elite nations.
- Brazil remain on top of men’s world ranking after gold finish in Rio 2016
- Olympic champions China reach top spot in women’s world ranking
- Brazil’s Pedro/Evandro win battle of Olympians over USA for gold at FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam
- USA’s Walsh Jennings/Ross overcome Spain’s Lili/Elsa for gold medal at FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam
- Latvia’s Samoilovs/Smedins roar to bronze medal win at FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam
- Germany’s Sude/Laboureur capture bronze medal at FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam
- Olympians from Brazil and USA to battle for gold Medal Sunday at FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam
- USA’s Walsh Jennings/Ross vs. Spain’s Lili/Elsa for women’s gold medal Sunday at $800,000 FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam
- Brazil, Italy, Latvia and USA earn men's semifinal spots Saturday at FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam
- USA’s Walsh Jennings/ Ross leading women’s field to Saturday semis at FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam
- Italy’s Rangheiri/Caminati win twice Friday to earn quarterfinal spot at FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam
- USA’s Hughes/Claes enjoy ‘summer school’ on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour
- Latvia’s Samoilovs/Smedins win their pool 3-0 on Thursday
- Spain’s Fernandez/Baquerizo lead six 3-0 women’s duos to elimination rounds
- USA’s Walsh Jennings/Ross enjoy two home sand wins Wednesday in Long Beach
- USA Olympians Lucena/Dalhausser start quickly at Long Beach Grand Slam
- Trips to Toronto at stake in Long Beach
- Press review: Volleyball still making headlines after rumble in Rio
- Brazil’s George/Thiago progress to main draw at FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam
- USA’s Larsen/Flint among eight women qualifiers for main draw at $800,000 FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam
- Priddy completes fourth Olympics with pride
- Joy and gratitude for silver medallists Agatha and Barbara
- Serginho highlights role of libero with Rio 2016 MVP award
- Press review: Brazil crowned in spectacular Olympic finale
- MVP Zhu Ting celebrates Chinese team spirit
- Alison and Bruno split gold medal with coach
- From Rio to Tokyo, the countdown for 2020 is on!
- Social media heats up as Brazil top volleyball world
- For USA’s Lee, “Tokyo no, World Championships yes, if they will have me!”
- 2016 FIVB World Tour regular season finale in USA at $800,000 FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam in SoCal
- Tetyukhin's quarter-century Olympic journey comes to tearful end
- Lang Ping becomes first person in volleyball to win Olympic gold as player and coach
- China ride wave of fans' support to gold
- Volleyball men's top guns set for final battle in Rio
- Social media takes Maracanazinho women's medal match drama around the globe
- Dutchmen “floating” home to meet the "King"! Then Toronto?
- Sloetjes rises above disappointment, looks ahead to Tokyo 2020
- Women's Rio 2016 final an all-female affair
- Europeans showing no gap exists with traditional powers
- This is what it's all about: The medals of Rio 2016
- 16 days of Volleyball House activity ends in true Rio style
- Kiraly “phenomenal feeling” after winning fifth Olympic medal
- Video: The Today Show’s take on Bossaball
- Order rules as referees visit Volleyball House
- 2016 FIVB World Tour update after Rio 2016 Olympic Games
- Magic of Copacabana takes over social media
- Unique Maracanazinho semifinal atmosphere captured on social media
- Rematches of Athens 2004 for gold and bronze in Rio 2016
- Medal time is here for women’s tournament
- FIVB delivers impressive sports presentation masterclass at Rio 2016 Olympic Games