Puerto Rico is ready to defend the gold medal at home


MAYAGUEZ, Puerto Rico, July 23, 2010 – The men’s volleyball tournament of the XXI Central American and Caribbean Games starts on Friday with hosts Puerto Rico defending the gold medal they have won in the last two editions of the quadrennial event.


“It is going to be a competitive tournament as Venezuela, Mexico and Dominican Republic are strong teams but we definitely will battle for the gold medal,” Argentinean coach of Puerto Rico Carlos Cardona stated on Thursday.


The coaches of the seven teams taking part in the competition commented about their goals on the eve of the beginning of the competition.


Pool A consists of Venezuela, Dominican Republic and Panama and Pool B is composed by Puerto Rico, Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados.


Here follows the excerpts of the coaches’ statements:


Ludger Niles (BAR): “We have a very young team with some junior players to get the experience. We are in a very difficult pool and our match against Trinidad & Tobago will be the prelude of the Caribbean Championships to be played in a couple of weeks.”


Jacinto Campechano (DOM): “We have trained very hard and our goal is to go after one of the medals no matter the color of it. The team is prepared to battle with our hearts out. This is a good competition and I hope we can do a good job.”


Jorge Azair (MEX): “We are coming here with a lot of motivation to participate in a very competitive tournament. Since the Pan American Cup we have trained hard and added some experienced players. I think we can battle for one of the medals no matter the color.”


Jose Remon (PAN):  “The team is in better shape than the last tournament we won at home during the Central American Games. We know the level is different here and our pool is very tough with Venezuela and Dominican Republic as our opponents. We have done a lot of training.”


Carlos Cardona (PUR): “This medal is very important for us as we are going to defend the gold. The team is going through a good moment and I hope some of my players are completely recovered. It is a competitive tournament as Venezuela, Mexico and Dominican Republic are strong teams but we definitely will battle for the gold medal.”


Gideon Dickson (TRI): “Our expectations are very high as we want to finish second in our pool. It is a very tough pool but we are confident about our chances of advancing. Regarding Barbados, we are going to beat them badly in anticipation of the Caribbean Championships.”


Gilberto Herrera (VEN): “We have a team with experience and youth and this is a team that should start a new era in the development of Venezuelan volleyball. In think the experience must lead us to one of the top three places.”


Men’s Year by Year podiums


1930    MEX   CUB    ESA

1935    MEX   PUR    CUB

1938    PUR    MEX   CUB

1946    CUB    PUR    MEX

1950    MEX   CUB    PUR

1954    MEX   PUR    CUB

1959    MEX   VEN    PUR

1962    MEX   DOM   VEN

1966    CUB    VEN    MEX

1970    CUB    VEN    MEX

1974    CUB    MEX   DOM

1978    CUB    VEN    MEX

1982    CUB    MEX   VEN

1986    CUB    DOM   PUR

1990    CUB    MEX   VEN

1993    CUB    PUR    VEN

1998    CUB    MEX   VEN

2002    PUR    MEX   VEN

2006    PUR    VEN   DOM