San Juan, Puerto Rico, May 22, 2016 – Colombian volleyball is making great strides lately with regular appearances at international competitions while achieving important results that envision a promising future for the sport in the South American country.
The Colombian side enters the final day of competition at the Women’s World Olympic Qualification Tournament in Puerto Rico still with marginal chances of qualifying to the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.
Besides the evident physical talent of the players there is a curious ingredient in Colombian squad and that is the presence of a technical staff whose components are mostly of Argentinean origin.
Eduardo Guillaume, who served as an assistant coach of Horacio Bastit with the Argentina national team five years ago, now has Bastit as his assistant with the Colombian team. And as if that were not enough, they have invited compatriot Diego Soler to join them as statistician of the team for this event and also the Pan Am Cup.
Guillaume was signed as coach of the women’s team after successful achievements coaching Bolivar teams, both men and women, in the national competition of Colombia and Batist, who earlier coached the Costa Rica women’s team for a few years, is now in charge also of the age-group categories.
“Colombia always had the potential only that in the last five years they have been participating in the international scene and that talent has been developing,” Guillaume said. “They have qualified to the Grand Prix the last two years and there are important players and new ones coming up. The plan is to develop those talents while keeping the presence in the competitions.”
“Regarding the age groups we have been organizing training camps to search talent and check those players every month,” Bastit said. “We have had two camps and a trip to Brazil with the girls. There are many players with excellent conditions and now need to be developed.”
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Colombian captain Maria Alejandra Marin is the first to admit the positive influence generated by the presence of Argentinean coaches with the team.
“Our style of playing has changed since the inclusion of the Argentinean coaches last year,” she declared recently here. “We feel comfortable and don’t pay attention to that specific fact.”
This year they finished in third place –behind Argentina and Peru- in the South American Continental Tournament after wins over Chile and Venezuela and will participate for the fourth time in the Pan American Cup in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic at the end of June.
Colombia team also will be back in the FIVB World Grand Prix Group 3 where they finished third last year behind Kenya and Peru.