Coaches of the twenty teams attended the FIVB Volleyball Girls' U18 World Championship general technical meeting on Thursday evening in Lima
Lima, Peru, August 6, 2015 – One of the most balanced competitions in the history of the FIVB Volleyball Girls’ U18 World Championship is expected to take place at the Peruvian capital from August 7 to 16, according to the comments expressed by the coaches of the twenty teams battling for the top honours of the age-group division.
Defending champions China have won four of the last seven editions and must be considered among the strongest pre-tournament favourites even though they will be battling in the tough Pool B against European vice champions Serbia, Thailand, Germany and Poland.
Runner-ups two years ago in Thailand, United States will be playing in Pool C, which is called by many as “the group of death” that includes European champions Russia and bronze medalists Belgium as well as Argentina and the Dominican Republic.
Pool D features South American champions Brazil, Asian champions Japan, European Youth Olympic Festival monarchs Turkey, Italy and Cuba, while Pool A looks also well balanced with the sides of hosts Peru, Korea, Chinese Taipei, Mexico and African champions Egypt.
The coaches of the twenty teams talked about their expectations and goals during the inspection of teams conducted by FIVB delegates on Wednesday and Thursday.
Mauro Silvestre (Argentina): The competition will be very difficult for us as we will play with some of the best teams of the world and we have prepared to show our best performance. We don’t come with the idea of a specific position. However, we will seek to successfully close the first stage of work we have developed over more than three years.
Flen Callens (Belgium): It will be a strong competition for our team, but we had a good preparation and now we are ready to play. I hope this opportunity to play against teams with high level inspire my players to stay training so in the future they can arrive to the main team of 'Yellow Tigers'
Luizomar De Moura (Brazil): To play in Peru always is a great experience because the people really enjoy volleyball. This competition must be one of the most equilibrated world championships over the years. We need to think about game by game because our goal is to have the opportunity of battling for a place in the podium.
Shen Mang (China): Our team is very young and this is a great opportunity to develop our skills. I hope my players can show their best play. Many teams have the chance to be in the final round and we are working to be one of them.
Kuang Chin-tu (Chinese Taipei): Before coming here the team attended an international training camp and now we are ready to compete in this tournament. We know it won´t be easy but our goal is to be among the top eight teams.
Tomas Fernandez (Cuba): Due to the absence of four of our leading members currently with the senior team, our expectations are to develop the game level of our athletes, which is our priority now. Despite the situation we will battle game by game.
Alexandre Ceccato (Dominican Republic): Despite the fact our pool is very complicated our expectations in this tournament are very high. We need to be focused and play game by game. Our rivals will surely come with the same objectives but we are ready to give the best of us.
Mohamed Abdeen (Egypt): We won the U16 African Nations with victories over Algeria and Tunisia. We have had four months of preparation in two domestic trainings camps. Our pool is tough with Peru, the owner of the land. Also Korea and Taipei are good teams. We hope to have good matches and our goal is to be among the top 8 to 10 teams.
Jens Tietbohl (Germany): Our qualifying was difficult as we finished sixth in Europe, but that does not mean we cannot get a good result in this competition. We are going to face very difficult opponents who we know very well, but we will fight for a ranking among the top eight.
Marco Mencarelli (Italy): Our team is strong and well structured. Sometimes players lose the concentration, but that is typical of the age. If we stay focused on the most important moments we can achieve a great tournament and show our potential.
Daichi Saegusa (Japan): After our regional tournament we have changed many players and really didn't have much time for training together. Anyway, my players know that if we work like a real team, we could qualify for the next round. The competition is very hard but we are ready to do our best effort.
Dongyeol Kim (Korea): The tournament is very competitive and we have to fight hard to achieve a good result. Our first goal is to qualify for the second round of the competition. We hope that all the work we have done will reflect on the court.
Ricardo Naranjo (Mexico): We are very happy to be here. For many of my players it is the first chance to be at an international tournament and they are very anxious to play. We hope to improve the performance of our country in previous world championships.
Walter Lung (Peru): I have been with the team for three months now and feel optimistic as the home side for the world championship. We have gone through a training tour in Asia and Italy and in the last few days we have had scrimmages with Thailand, Dominican Republic and United States. We are ready for the challenge.
Andrzej Pec (Poland): We are in a very difficult group against strong teams like China and Serbia to name a couple of tough rivals. We will go out trying to win every match ´playing good volleyball. We finished eighth place in Europe and will take one match at a time.
Svetlana Safronova (Russia): It is very difficult to play a competition where you have to go against the top teams. Our pool is one of the most complicated in the competition so we have to play game by game. We know everyone is waiting to see what Russia can do because we won the tournament in Europe, but we must only to focus on our game.
Jovo Cakovic (Serbia): I hope to have a similar performance to that we had in our continental tournament. After playing only in Europe this is a great opportunity to tackle other styles of play. I hope we can improve game by game and to overcome each of the stages of classification as our goal is to play the semifinals.
Tanasak Ratanarasi (Thailand): We know this competition will be very complicated for us because we are facing teams with a better ranking. In our regional tournament we gave some surprises beating some of the strongest teams but we lost some players. Nevertheless we are looking forward to have a good performance.
Mehmet Bedestenlioglu (Turkey): Five days ago we finished first at the European Youth Olympic Festival an eight-team tournament grouping the top seven sides from Europe plus Georgia. Then we came to Argentina for three days. The team is a little bit tired and our pool is very strong with Brazil, Japan, Italy and Cuba. I hope we have a good result and step up to the next phase.
James Stone (United States): I know there are a lot of good teams here. Our team has been working together for a very short time and for that reason our expectations are to compete well and hard. Really, we are not thinking about the result because we have some players who never played any international game before; they are very anxious and looking forward to have a good tournament.