Dominican Republic book the ticket to London Games


Tijuana, Mexico, May 5, 2012 – Dominican Republic became the sixth women’s team qualified to the volleyball tournament of the 2012 London Olympic Games by defeating Cuba in four thrilling sets 25-18, 25-23, 27-29, 25-20 in the decisive match of the NORCECA Olympic Qualification Tournament held in Tijuana, Mexico.


The Dominican team joined Italy, United States and China, who qualified to London through de FIVB World Cup last November in Japan, the African champions Algeria and host Great Britain.


It is the second time in history that Dominican Republic reaches the Summer Games with the previous visit during the edition of 2004 in Athens, Greece.


Bethania De La Cruz, elected the Most Valuable Player of the competition, registered 25 points to spearhead the Dominican attack, followed by Milagros Cabral, Annerys Vargas and Lisvel Eve with 12, 11 and 10 points respectively. Cuba’s Yoana Palacios finished with 24 points and Wilma Salas charted 14.


The Dominicans held a 13-9 advantage in the blocking department with Vargas leading with four blocks followed by Eve and Cabral with three apiece. The winners also were better in the service division 9-3 with Vargas registering three.


“To tell the truth I don’t have words to say what the feeling is,” said Brazilian Marcos Kwiek, the Coach of Dominican Republic. “This is the result of four years of hard work and God rewarded us with the ticket to the London Games.”


“The girls did a fantastic job and kept a high level of concentration during the whole tournament and I also want to thank my technical staff and all the people who have supported us,” Kwiek added.


Dominican Captain Cabral said: “I want to thank God, but also to my head coach. In this match we went out to the court with a lot of desire. We fought and wanted badly to go to London 2012.”


“These matches are always difficult,” commented Cuba’s Coach Juan Carlos Gala. “Every time Cuba and Dominican Republic face each other the matches are tough. We made our tactical plan, but the players were very tense. Dominican Republic defined the match. I want to congratulate them and wish the best while representing NORCECA at the Olympic Games.”