Iran realize Olympic dream after 52 years of waiting
Iran completed their matches at the Men’s World Olympic Qualification Tournament with a 3-2 (25-23, 27-29, 21-25, 25-18, 15-8) win over Venezuela at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on Sunday.
Iran coach Raul Lozano: “Julio Velasco, the previous national team head coach, started the project to make it to the Olympics some eight years ago. There are two teams now in Iran and we are going to prepare for the next tournament (World League) starting on June 17. All of our players do not play abroad, but young and strong players were chosen and great work has been done.”
Iran captain Mir Saied Marouflakrani: “Last night we qualified for the Olympics. Today we finished the tournament with a victory. Now we have to think about the next matches. We played here with all 14 players and it was a good experience for all.
Iran player Mehdi Mahdavi: “Our coach used all of the players, which gives confidence to everybody. It is good to finish the tournament with a win. This gives us confidence for the World League. This is good for the future.
Venezuela coach Vincenzo Nacci: “We had a great experience in this tournament and found out our team has high potential to be better. In this tournament all the teams were strong but we enjoyed it. We will work hard for the World League, which is really important for me and the team, as we would like to achieve a higher goal.
Venezuela captain Kervin Pinerua: “It was a good game. Our defence and counter attack were working well. We will seek a new path and try to make the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. We have many young players. If we work hard we can make it.”
Venezuela player Andy Rojas: “The Venezuela team consists of young players. We have potential for the future. This tournament was a good experience for us.”