France celebrate their first ever World League bronze medal
Kraków, Poland, July 17, 2016 – Three sets determined the outcome of the bronze medal match. France easily beat Italy 3-0 (25-23, 25-21, 25-20) and claimed second World League’s medal in a row.
Laurent Tillie, coach of France: Thanks for the compliments. We won tonight, it’s important for us to reach the podium, because our history of podiums is short. As it was said, both teams were tired and there was a lack of energy. I know that next big game will be important. We played our game, we want our players to enjoy the game. My team isn’t easy to lead, but they like to play and win, and that’s the important thing.
Gianlorenzo Blengini, coach of Italy: First of all, congratulations to France. I’m really disappointed with the result. We lost this match in the last stages of first two sets. We made too many mistakes in different situations – on serve, on spike, in reception. In the ends of sets one and two we had a chance, but we didn’t take it. France played better and this is the reason why they won today.
Benjamin Toniutti, captain of France: I’m really proud of my team, because it’s never easy to win a medal and it’s always important. After the Olympic qualifications all teams were tired. We change a lot of players during this week. We won this medal with all of the 14 players.
Emanuele Birarelli, captain of Italy: Of course we are disappointed, it was a tough match for sure. France deserved the victory, but we should have done more in this match. We didn’t have the energy needed to win against France. They are very good team, they were strong in their heads. I think we have to improve, play better in this kind of matches, that are always a test for the mentality. We have to approach better in the next games.
Jenia Grebennikov, France: It was really difficult game for us especially after yesterday’s lost semi final. After the match against Brazil we were a little bit pissed because we didn’t show our best volleyball. But we have a great group of players, real collective, we always stay together at the court and next to it, on the bench or in the warm-up area - whether we win or have worse moments in the match. I think today we performed much better than yesterday, we played our maximum for now because we still need more time to be in the highest form. We are really happy we won this game because we wanted to end this tournament on the podium. We will play against Italy first match at the Olympic Games so this win has a double importance.
Osmany Juantorena, Italy: We started the match well but by the end of first set I made to much mistakes in reception. I couldn't concentrate on the match due to family reasons and I'm really sorry about that. France used our weaknes and won.