TEHRAN (Iran News) – Vladimir Alekno, Iran national volleyball team head coach, accepted that the performance of the Iran volleyball team in the 2021 FIVB Volleyball Men’s Nations League (VNL) was not satisfying and also emphasized that he has been under no pressure by the Iranian volleyball federation to climb the podium in the Olympics.
Iran finished the 2021 VNL in 12th place after winning five out of 15 matches. Alekno’s side stood just above Germany, Netherlands, Bulgaria, and Australia with 18 points.
Alekno said that his plan for the national team in the Olympic Games is to move forward step by step.
“I don’t like to take big steps in my life and also don’t like to predict about future. But, I can say that in the 2020 Olympics we have been drawn in a difficult group. However, in this group, except Poland and Italy, who are relatively better than us, we can hope to play well and get results against the other teams,” Alekno said.
“My strategy is to move forward step by step. It is not right that when, for example, we are going to face Venezuela, we think about playing against Japan. Instead, 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,” he added.
When asked about the federation’s pressure on him to achieve good results and place the team on the Olympic podium, Alkeno replied: “There is no pressure on me neither from the federation nor from anyone else to win a medal. There is no guarantee in sports, and I cannot guarantee to climb the podium in Tokyo. I ask you who could guarantee Italian football team would win the 2020 Euro. Did you know Italy would win the title in penalty shootout?
“To climb the Olympic podium is not only the dream of the president of the volleyball federation, but it is also the dream of me, you, and all the Iranian people. We cannot criticize or condemn anyone for such a hope or dream. But It’s too early to guarantee that Iran national volleyball team will be on the podium. Before we have such an expectation, we must look at the general level of the Iranian volleyball league and compare it with the leagues of other teams that also hope to climb the podium in the Olympics.” Alekno said.
The Persians will start their 2020 Olympic Games journey with the game against Poland on 24 July.
Iran are in Pool A along with Italy, Poland, Japan, Canada and Venezuela.