Host country Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela and Uruguay are battling for the crown and the tickets to Turkey in 2013. Pool A consists of Brazil, Colombia and Chile, while Pool B will comprise Argentina, Peru, Venezuela and Uruguay. After playing each other in a round robin, the best two teams from each pool will advance to the semifinals – the winners of those matches qualify for Turkey and the losers play for third place and the last chance to be part of the 2013 World Championship.
On Tuesday, Chile, Argentina and Venezuela opened the competition with victories. Chile prevailed in a close 3-2 (25-19, 25-20, 25-27, 16-25, 15-12) match with Colombia. Argentina then showed their comprehensive superiority over Peru with a 3-0 (25-15, 25-15, 25-19) win. In the last match of the day, Venezuela defeated Uruguay 3-1 (22-25, 25-15, 25-17, 25-16) in 1h38min.
Argentina coach Fabián Muraco preferred not to suggest his team was a favourite for the final match. He is setting more modest objectives at this point.
“We hope to play a good tournament,” said Muraco. “Our goal is to qualify for the 2013 World Championship and we will look forward to the berth.”
For Daniel Nejamkin, Chile’s coach, the South American Championship is just a test for his very young players. To play in one of the semifinals would be an historical achievement for his country.
“We came here to learn our real level in South America,” said Nejamkin. “Our team is very young, with just one junior player – the others are youth. So to qualify to one of the semifinals, playing as visiting team, we know it will be very hard.”
The Brazil coach, Leonardo, set the bar much higher for his squad.
“Our expectations are to win,” Leonardo said. “We will set a good rhythm. In the international friendly matches we played and at the U23 Pan-American Cup we showed a high performance. We cannot joke. We must play each match as if it would be the final match. Our athletes have to get used to playing at home. They will live that fact very often.”
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