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Kiraly aiming for fourth Olympic gold

Karch Kiraly has already won World Championship gold, now the aim is Olympic gold
Lausanne, Switzerland, April 30, 2015 – USA women’s coach Karch Kiraly has his sights firmly fixed on winning a fourth Olympic gold medal at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games. 

The 54-year-old is the only player to have won Olympic gold in both volleyball and beach volleyball. He helped the USA to volleyball gold at the Los Angeles 1984 and returned as captain as they retained their Olympic title at the Seoul 1988. 

Later he switched to beach volleyball and won the inaugural title at Atlanta 1996, alongside Kent Steffes and now as a coach Kiraly has shown himself to be equally successful. 

He was USA’s women’s team assistant coach when they won silver at London 2012 and was then promoted to the top job at the end of that season. Two years on he led the USA women to their first ever world title, with gold at the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship, Italy 2014. 

“It’s not about me, it’s about the programme, that is more important by far,” he said. “The USA women’s team had not won any major international tournament until we won the World Championship last year. 

Olympic qualification

“We want to make things happen and that result made us hungrier for the upcoming tournaments. Our main goal now is to qualify for Rio 2016.”

The USA will have its first chance to qualify this year at the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Cup, Japan 2015 that runs from August 22 until September 6 and offers two places for Rio. Their next opportunity comes at the NORCECA Continental Championship, which takes place in September and October in Mexico, with one qualifying berth on offer.

“I’m very pleased with the improvement the team has showed in the last two years,” he said. “We made some changes, brought new players in and our priority is to keep improving. If we continue like this, we will achieve good things in Rio 2016.”

In the most recent round of ticket sales volleyball has proven to be the most popular of the 28 sports on offer and the sport will take place in the Maracanazinho Arena, a venue that can hold 12,000 spectators. 

“I love Rio, it’s an amazing sports city,” Kiraly said. “I’m sure they will be fantastic Games and I’m glad South America will stage the Olympics for the first time. 

“We competed in the World Grand Prix in Sao Paulo last year and the atmosphere was amazing. There were lines of people queueing hours before the matches and the fans were lovely with all the players.”


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