Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, January 9, 2020 - Marcos Kwiek, the Brazilian coach of the Dominican Republic in the NORCECA Women's Tokyo Volleyball Qualification tournament, says that in a short event all the games are finals while dismissing the label of favourite for his team despite the home factor.
“It is a short tournament so you have to play every match as a final,” he said. “All four teams come here prepared. There are no favorites. You have to play all of them avoiding mistakes. Our team is an experienced one and will go out looking for the victory respecting the team on the other side of the net.”
Kwiek warned of the dangers of playing at home. “You always like to play in front of your fans but it also can be a double-edged sword. Sometimes players get anxious but the visiting teams also feel the extra pressure.”
For Puerto Rico coach Jose Mieles it will be important to get a result in their first match. “It is going to be a very interesting tournament for the four selections. We are going to take it step by step, game by game. Now the most important match for me is the the one against Canada, which is the first. We are optimistic trying to complete the Olympic dream. A lot of enthusiasm and desire. Knowing the situation of Puerto Rico (recent earthquake) we have a commitment with our people and our families.”
From left: the coaches of the teams at NORCECA Women's Tokyo Volleyball Qualification 2020: Marcos Kwiek (DOM), Gabriela Alarcon (MEX), Jose Mieles (PUR) and Tom Black (CAN)
Canada coach Tom Black said his team is looking forward to the competition. “We are excited to compete and we have had an excellent training block to prepare. There are three other high-quality teams in the tournament. We believe we have a talented group here and the team have been responding very well since last year.”
For Gabriela Alarcon, who will lead the Mexico team, he is confident his players have a chance of progressing. “For the first time in many years we are able to put together our first team. I hope we can reach our optimal level after just two weeks of training in Monterrey. As far as we have the chance of the Olympic ticket we will be going after it. I am confident of the group of players I have this time.”