Lausanne, Switzerland, November 10, 2016 – Venezuela have completed a training camp under the supervision of Technical Director Jose David Suarez and coaches of the national team.
The Venezuelans are rebuilding their team following the departure of Italian coach Vincenzo Nacci in September after two years in the job.
Under Nacci, Venezuela rose from No. 42 in the world to No. 21 and finished second in this year’s South American qualifying for the Rio Olympics. However, that wasn’t enough to book a ticket to Rio and they had to compete in the World Qualifiers in Tokyo where they lost all seven of their matches.
Venezuela will compete in Group 3 of the 2017 FIVB World League, with pools in Spain (June 2-4 against Greece, Mexico and the hosts) and in Estonia (June 9-11 against Greece, Qatar and the hosts). The team finished in 30th place in the last two editions.
As they seek to move forward, Venezuela is looking for a new generation of players.
Fifty-one athletes arrived at the Gaston Portillo Gymnasium on November 3 with the dream of being part of the next generation of the Venezuelan team, but only 13 met the minimum standards to be chosen to form the lower national pre-selection squad.
The tallest athlete selected by the coaching staff was Gabriel Alvarez Carabobo who is 16 but stands 198 cm tall.
For Suarez, who hails from Cuba, the camp was a success. "We didn’t expect so many people would come to the camp,” he explained. “We initially thought we’d have about 30 players.
“Eight of the players were above the 190-cm mark we were looking for and that’s good. With these players, Venezuela volleyball should make great progress.”