No guarantee to win medal at Tokyo: Alekno

May 18, 2021 - 14:12

TEHRAN - Iran national volleyball team head coach Vladimir Alekno says that there is no guarantee they will climb the podium at this year’s Olympic Games.

Iran have been drawn along with Japan, Poland, Italy, Canada and Venezuela in Pool A of the 2020 Olympic Games. Pool B consists of Brazil, the U.S., Russia, Argentina, France and Tunisia.

In a news conference held in Tehran, capital of Iran, Alekno said they will do their best to win the first-ever medal at the Olympics but there is no guarantee it will happen.

“First of all, I have to say I will not promise to win a medal at the Olympics and only charlatan coaches do that. I am a volleyball coach for 25 years but I never promised to win a medal in a tournament. We will make our best to make the Iranians happy,” Alekno said.

The Russian coach has most recently worked at Zenit Kazan but he says there is difference between Iran volleyball team and the Russian club.

“Iranian team are technically good but they are not physically strong as Russia and Poland are. There is no enough time and I’d rather prepare the players mentally for the Games.  

“We’ve analyzed the Iran league competition and I have to say the Iranian players use float serve but they must use jump float serve in the big matches. I think we are weak in reception and need to work to solve the problem,” the Russian coach added.

No guarantee to win medal at Tokyo: Alekno

Under coaching of Alekno, Russia won a gold and bronze medal in 2012 and 2008 Olympic Games, respectively. Now, he says the Tokyo 2020 will be his last Olympics as a coach.

“To bid farewell to volleyball is very hard for me since I’ve spent 40 years of my life working in the sport. It’s very tempting to participate in Olympics for the fourth time but I need some rest after the Games. I cannot work with half of my energy and prefer to work as a technical manager in a Russian team,” Alekno went on to say.

Iran volleyball team will take part at the 2021 FIVB Volleyball Nations League (VNL) in Rimini, Italy and Alekno says that the tournament can be a good preparatory event for the Olympics.

“We have a chance to field our young players in the VNL. The competition can prepare us for the Olympics. Several players have a bright future in Iran volleyball. Javad Karimi and Amirhossein Esfandiar must change their mentality if they want to be successful. Saber Kazemi and Bardia Saadat will have a bright future,” Alekno concluded. 

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