Five teams to chase Olympic dream in South America
The competition begins at 15.00 local time with the first match between Colombia and Venezuela. Hosts Argentina will play their first match of the tournament against Chile at 19.00. The matches all take place at the Pedro Estremador Gym in a round robin format. They will be broadcast live on the official website of the South American Volleyball Confederation www.voleysur.org and the matches featuring Argentina will also be on TyC Sports.
Four international referees will participate in the competition. They are: Angela Grass (Brazil), Paulo Luis Beal (Brazil), Fabian Carbajal (Uruguay) and Silvio Silveira (Brazil).
At the press conference on Tuesday, Rio Negro Tourism, Culture and Sports Minister Silvina Arrieta welcomed the participants, thanking the South American Confederation for its decision to hold the event in Bariloche. "There is no doubt that the competition will be a complete success. It is one of the most important events of the summer season in San Carlos de Bariloche. That people from other places can visit us and enjoy this competition and the city is a way to broadcast and promote the city. We thank you for your trust and we expect an outstanding competition."
CSV President, Rafael Lloreda added: "A competition like this one will allow us to show the high level of South American women's volleyball, that has grown so much. The five participating teams have the highest level and it will be a very tough competition where only the winner will qualify directly for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. For the people of Bariloche, it is a chance to enjoy the sport. We invite all to support volleyball and enjoy the event."
Speaking at the pre-tournament press conference on Tuesday, Argentina coach Guillermo Orduna said: "I hope to qualify and get the ticket for Rio. I want to see this team playing its best on court, to have the confidence that they arrive at this point having trained very hard over the last few months. We hope we can feel that our players have played their best because if so, the result will follow. We reach this point at our best moment: we have had three years of continuous growth, searching for higher individual skill and as a team growing towards this moment."
Chile coach Hugo Jauregui said: "The Chile team know that this is a very important competition. Even though we are not the favourites to win the competition, we believe we can compete and even overcome some of the teams that make mistakes playing against us. That motivates us and we are very happy to be among the teams here."
Colombia coach Eduardo Guillaume said: "This is a very level competition and any of the teams can defeat any of the others. There is no favourite team as in other competitions and everything is also possible for Colombia."
Peru coach Mauro Marasciulo said: "We are alright. We have a lot of support because in Peru volleyball is one of the most important sports. We have to fight because it will be a very tight competition. All the teams have arrived at this point ready to fight for the Olympic berth, so we have to make good use of our moment. We must also be lucky, very concentrated and confident. We will watch the four other teams play on the first day as our first match takes place on Thursday - and we will know more about our rivals."
Venezuela coach Ivan Nieto said: "Our team is quite calm. I see them playing as a team and we are in the right place as the girls are very happy and motivated for this competition. We wanted this moment to arrive to make last minute adjustments. A lot depends on our first match against Colombia, because if we have a good start then we have better chances."
South American Olympic Qualification Tournament set to begin in Argentina
Match schedule (in local time):
Wednesday, January 6
15.00 Colombia - Venezuela
19.00 Argentina - Chile
Thursday, January 7
16.00 Chile - Peru
19.00 Venezuela - Argentina
Friday, January 8
16.00 Venezuela - Chile
19.00 Peru - Colombia
Saturday, January 9
14.00 Peru - Venezuela
17.00 Argentina - Colombia
Sunday, January 10
14.00 Colombia - Chile
17.00 Argentina - Peru