Work the key as Colombia chase Tokyo 2020 spot


Colombia are set to host the South American Tokyo 2020 Olympic Qualifier

Bogota, Colombia, January 7, 2020 – Colombia coach Antonio Rizola said his team have been focused on work as they get ready to begin their quest to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Colombia are hosting the Tokyo Olympic Qualifiers from January 7 to 9 and they will face Argentina, Peru and Venezuela at the Salitre Coliseum in Bogota.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games volleyball tournament runs from July 25 to August 9 at the Ariake Arena and if they do qualify it will be Colombia’s Olympic debut.

“The team environment is focused on attention and work,” Rizola said. “We enjoy ourselves everyday because we love what we do, but we are not partying, we are focused on our work.

“We have improved a lot and it is essential we play with confidence and if we repeat how we have been preparing we can win.”

Rizola has been Colombia coach since the start of 2017 and he recently helped them to silver at the Lima 2019 Pan-American Games, which featured a win over Brazil in the semifinals.

Colombia’s volleyball fans have responded to hosting the qualifier and tickets have already sold out for the tournament.

Peru begin the tournament having beaten Puerto Rico 3-0 in a warm-up match, while Venezuela have been training in Cuba as they chase a second Olympic appearance following their participation at Beijing 2008.

“We are going to play three very important matches, which we have to win,” Colombia captain Maria Alejandra Marin said.

“We have worked hard to be able to beat them. We have studied our opponents a lot and we know them very well.”