Rio set for early taste of Olympic spirit


Brazil's coach Bernardo Rezende is aiming to start the World League in victorious fashion

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 15, 2016 – Brazilian volleyball fans will be given an early taste of what to expect at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games when Iran, Argentina and the USA visit for the opening matches of the 2016 FIVB Volleyball World League. 

Brazil open the tournament against Iran on Thursday June 16 before the USA take on Argentina. The three-days of matches will take place at the Carioca Arena 1, which will host basketball at the Olympic Games. Volleyball will take place at the Maracanazinho Arena. 

The day before the matches began the coaches of the four teams met the media and this is what they had to say. 

Bernardo Rezende, Brazil coach
“It will be a very strong pool, with three opponents who will be in the Olympics and undoubtedly, they will test us. We will face difficulties and that will be important for us, to help us grow and we will have to work to overcome them.”

Iran coach Raul Lozano 
“I believe we are playing well, with a good feeling after qualifying for the Olympic Games. But now we will face other rivals, other types of game. We need to play at the highest level in order to win. This World League is very important, the seven opponents we will face are all in the top seven, so will be difficult, but we will work hard.”

Julio Velasco, Argentina coach
“We played two friendly matches against Brazil in Argentina, and now we face two other teams. After three games, we will analyse of how our team played. Brazil, the United States and Iran are three very different teams that we will face this week. This World League formula is much more interesting for the players, who have to learn to adapt tactically to their opponents quickly, from one day to the other.”

John Speraw, USA coach
“This is going to be a great tournament, no matter what the format is. We have great teams in our pool. This first week is really a challenge for us. It is a great preparation for us as we are looking to come back for the Olympics and we will face teams that will be here in August.”

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