Santa Fe, Argentina, May 10, 2017 - The Drawing of Lots for the FIVB Volleyball Girls’ U18 World Championship Argentina 2017, to be held in Rosario and Santa Fe from August 18 to 27, was held on Wednesday on Argentinean soil and now the four first round pools are completed. Defending champions Italy are set to clash with Serbia, Poland, Colombia and Thailand in Pool C.
Pool B seems equally thrilling with first world-ranked USA, European champions Russia and South American champions Brazil grouped together, meaning that one of these three powerhouses will advance to the quarterfinals, after a battle that will also include Belarus and Mexico.
Last but not least, hosts Argentina lead Pool A followed by Germany, Slovenia, Korea and Cuba. While all of them missed the final of their respective continental championships recently, they still may pose a threat to a host team that dreams of improving their best ever performance - a seventh place earned at the 1991 edition held in Portugal.
The Drawing of Lots, which marked 100 days to the start of competition, featured an official presentation with national and local authorities in front of several media representatives.
Here are the excerpts of the press conference, all of them emphasizing about the great opportunity for Argentina to be the host country of such an important event:
Mónica Fein, Rosario city Mayoress: “For our city it is a big pride and honour to host this championship. Rosario has been growing as a venue for international events and together with Santa Fe province we have worked hard on strengthening our institutions. We are fully committed with this World Championship and will do our best to ensure its success.”
Roberto Escobar, FIVB Delegate: “On behalf of FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graça Fº, it’s a pleasure to be again in Argentina for an international competition. It’s not a coincidence to have another World Championship - it’s a consequence of the great work carried out by Argentinean Volleyball Federation led by its President Juan Antonio Gutiérrez. I’m confident it will be a fantastic tournament.”
Fabián Bochatay, Argentinean Volleyball Federation 1st Vice-President: “Working together is the only way we can grow and achieve our goals. We aim to have more and more children practicing volleyball and thus we provide the tools to the clubs for the best possible environment. Now we’re facing an exciting challenge with Santa Fe Federation and the work of our President Juan Antonio Gutiérrez - to host this amazing World Championship.”
Pilar Cina, Argentina player: “I agree with our coach - none of the teams will be easy. That said, I’m pretty satisfied with the pool we have ahead, as it’s not the simplest nor the hardest. However, playing in our country is twice the pressure. I was already nervous during the Drawing of Lots… But we know we will jump on court with the support of families, friends and the whole Argentinean volleyball, watching us from full stands.”