Hands up: Coaches in Site A Yokohama ready to reach for good results in World Cup
Yokohama and Hamamatsu, Japan, September 13, 2019 – Cameroon, China, Dominican Republic, Korea and Russia join hosts Japan for the first round of the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Cup, with coaches sharing their insights in Friday’s press conference at the Yokohama Arena.
As hosts of the competition and of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Japan coach Kumi Nakada welcomed her colleagues, and pronounced her team’s focal points.
“This is my third season as coach. We will pursue results and challenges in this competition while looking toward Tokyo 2020. We will clarify what we need to work on and hope to play well for the audience,” Nakada said.
China coach Lang Ping likewise expounded on the significance of the competition as title-holders.
“This is my seventh time in a world class competition. The first was in 1981, so it feels familiar. We have had good preparation with help by our staff and association. This tournament is of great importance. There are many things we can learn. We want to play so the Japanese fans are enchanted with our volleyball,” Lang Ping said.
“All of these teams are first class, so we want our players to get experience. The combinations with the players will be important. We are in a preparatory phase for the Olympics. We want to play our match level higher,” the China coach added.
With Russia, likewise, through to Tokyo 2020, coach Sergio Busato expressed his sole agenda: “Our target is to win for the Russian federation.”
Three other teams in Site A are eyeing their spot in the next Olympics, giving much importance to their preparation ahead of the continental qualifiers in January 2020.
Cameroon coach Jean Rene Akono Bekono: “We have had a tough time preparing for the tournament. Our arrival was delayed and dealing with the time difference. We want to keep learning with our play here against strong teams in this strong competition. We must keep evolving.
“This is important preparation for Tokyo 2020. The Kenya match will be important because we are African champions and want to defend that.”
Dominican Republic coach Marcos Kwiek said : “This is a strong competition with the best teams in the world. We are preparing for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. We want to show our true intrinsic value as a team.
“We will try not to just win, but to play to our full strength and potential until the end. We want to get a good classification here. It is important that we give our best.”
Korea coach Stefano Lavarini said:” This tournament comes at an important moment. We will try to compete and do our best while looking toward the 2020 Olympics. We must test ourselves here.
“I have always dreamed about coming to compete in this tournament since I was young. Everybody is going to try their best to win. We want to show our own volleyball style.”
The teams playing in Hamamatsu in central Japan are Argentina, Brazil, Kenya, the Netherlands, Serbia and the United States, and the coaches gave their thoughts ahead of the competition.
Argentina coach Hernan Ferraro said: “This is an important tournament and our goal is to compete strongly against these strong teams. We feel this is going to be a good preparation ahead of the Olympic Games.”
Kenya coach Paul Bitok said: “We are here to meet some big teams and we hope to learn a lot from them because they are more experienced than us. Also, we are going to use this tournament to prepare for Olympic qualification and want to come back as the African representative in 2020. I wish good luck to all the teams. For us, it’s important to be here once again to prepare well for the Olympic qualifiers”
Netherlands coach Jamie Morrison said: “In regards to preparation, we’ve played a lot of volleyball before this. Five days ago, we were playing in the European Championships. With regards to this tournament, it’s the first time that our team has qualified for this competition for a very long time. It’s an honour to be in Japan. It’s an honour to be here playing against these great opponents. For us, we’re going to play each match trying to improve in the hope of doing something great in this tournament and preparing us for the Olympic qualifier in January.”
Three teams in Hamamatsu have likewise gained their ticket to Tokyo 2020, but vow to continue their preparation through the World Cup.
Brazil coach Ze Roberto said: “First I would like to thank the President of the Japan Volleyball Association. There are some very strong teams in this World Cup and we can learn a lot from these good teams.”
Serbia coach Aleksandar Vladisavijev said: “It’s a pleasure to be in Japan again. Last year, we won the World Championship here and four years ago we were runners-up in the last World Cup, which earned us a ticket to the Rio Olympics. We have many young players here and our goal is to give the maximum in every match and to learn something new.”
USA coach Karch Kiraly said: “We believe it’s a great honour and privilege to be competing here in the World Cup in the country that is the birthplace of Olympic volleyball. It’s a special time because the country that brought Olympic volleyball in in 1964 will be bringing it back again in 2020. We look forward to being tested to our limits and beyond by the great teams and competition here and to learn about ourselves.”
The competition plays a single round-robin format, from September 14 to September 29. Site A travels from Yokohama to Sapporo, while Site B teams go from Hamamatsu to Toyama. The twelve teams converge for the last stop in Osaka, where the winners of the quadrennial event will be announced and awarded.