By Masoud Hossein

Vladimir Alekno fails to live up to expectations

August 3, 2021 - 13:11

TEHRAN – It seems difficult to believe, but Iran volleyball team, headed by Vladimir Alekno, finished in ninth place in the 2020 Olympic Games. It’s while the team had come fifth in the previous edition in Rio.

The Russian coach had been appointed as Iran coach to win the first-ever medal with the team but failed to live up to the expectations.

Yes, It’s absolutely disappointing. It’s not clear that Iran can compete in the Paris 2024 with the golden generation. Tokyo 2020 was the right time and right place for Iran volleyball to qualify for top four.

Alekno had said there is no guarantee to win a medal in Olympics but he was sure the 2021 Volleyball Nations League would help him know his team. BUT it didn’t work.

“My strategy is to move forward step by step. We will go ahead game by game. Our matches in the 2021 VNL have been analyzed carefully. Now, we have valuable materials that we can work on. I hope we can benefit from our analysis in the Olympics,” Alekno said prior to Olympic Games.

It was not just Alekno’s fault because Iran’s volleyball federation played a key role in the failure. They wasted time to appoint the new coach. I think, Alekno could have done better if he had had more time.

Iran, under leadership of Alekno, failed to meet the expectations in 2021 VNL in Italy and some expert said that the Russian coach would earn the better results in Tokyo but he didn’t do that regarding that Iran had been drawn in an easier group than the other group.

Iran started the campaign with an emphatic win over Poland and eased past Venezuela in their second match. The team could have advanced to the next stage with a win over Canada but implausibly lost to the team 3-0. The Persians also lost to Italy and Japan in their following matches.

And it’s very worrying for a team who wanted to win their first-ever medal.

Now, the team must prepare for the 2021 Asian Men's Volleyball Championship. The competition will be held in Funabashi, Japan from Sept. 12 to 19.

The Iranian team have been drawn in Pool B along with Thailand, Pakistan and Hong Kong.

The federation must appoint their new head coach as soon as possible since the team want to defend their title in the event.

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