Caracas, Venezuela, December 9, 2020 – The Venezuelan men’s national team received a prestigious award when they were voted the country's team of the year by the nation's Sports Writers Association.
The Venezuelans had a brief but successful and important international season in 2020 as they won the South American Men’s Tokyo Volleyball Qualification tournament in Santiago, Chile, in January, prevailing over the hosts, Colombia and Peru.
The triumph guaranteed the team a second Olympic appearance 12 years after their maiden participation, at Beijing 2008, when, led by the likes of Ernando ‘Harry’ Gomez, Luis Diaz and Ivan Marquez, the South Americans finished ninth. The 'Vinotinto' are the only Venezuelan sports team qualified for the Tokyo Games so far.
“This award is a reward for all the effort and sacrifices we had to make,” head coach Ronald Sarti said. “We had to overcome several obstacles to get the results that made us and our country proud. I’m really honoured because each of us has given our best and we learn from each other every day.”
Sarti was voted the best sports coach in the country in his fourth season leading the team
Sarti himself was also recognized for his work with the team, which started in 2017, and was selected as the Coach of the Year in the country.
“I was surprised because Venezuela has several qualified and competent coaches,” he added. “To be selected makes me just as proud as representing my country does. I have to share this honour with the players, the coaching staff and my family, who have all been with me during this journey.”
More volleyball from Venezuela: