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Bulgaria coach Konstantinov talks Rio 2016 dreams

Bulgaria coach Plamen Konstantinov aims to finish in the top three of the men's European Olympic Qualification Tournament in Berlin
Sofia, Bulgaria, January 3, 2016 – Bulgaria coach Plamen Konstantinov shared his plans for the new season before his team departed for the men’s European Olympic Qualification Tournament in Berlin, Germany.

His mission is to get the qualification ticket for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, but his team needs to overcome tough opponents in the qualification tournament.

“Just before we left, we watched a video of Finland, prior to that we watched the video of Russia,” Konstantinov said. “We only have two days to prepare for our match against Russia. We have just started to warm-up as a team, but it remains to be seen how prepared we are against them.”

Konstantinov will have to rely on his other athletes as stars Todor Aleksiev and Tsvetan Sokolov will miss the Olympic qualifier as they are still in recovery from injury.

“I do not want to focus on the players who will not be involved in this competition,” Konstantinov stressed. “We will try to achieve a good result with the players who are in good shape. Most of my players are in good health right now. They have some minor ailments but that comes natural for every professional athlete.”

Bulgaria will be tested to endure the intense volleyball marathon of playing five matches for five consecutive days.

“We will try to assess what we need to do based on the condition of our opponents,” Konstantinov said. “The sad part is that we play five games – one after another. The only positive thing about this is that we will start a day later. I hope we can get a key victory against Finland. If we win our first match, we can have a better preparation against Russia or France. Russia has great control, while France play more tentatively but give some unexpected surprises in the end.”

Konstantinov assesses the absence of Dmitriy Muserskiy and finds that his absence would have an impact.

“Muserskiy is extraordinary and there would be a big impact for any team if there is an absence of a player his calibre.”

The Bulgarian coach also gave his insights on the pre-Olympic qualifier friendlies, where Russia and Germany played well.

“Russia showed that there is depth in their bench,” Konstantinov said. “In three different occasions, they can afford to change the combination of their players.”

As for his main goal in the qualification tournament, Konstantinov is eyeing for the top incentive – the Rio 2016 berth.

“Our big dream is to get the qualification ticket to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games or at least an opportunity to play in the World Olympic Qualification Tournament in Japan,” Konstantinov concluded. 


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