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16 Aug 2014
Nanjing 2014 , YOG , IOC News

Gomez and Hernandez flying the flag for Venezuelan beach volleyball

They may not have the towering physique often associated with elite volleyball players, but commitment and heart have taken Venezuela’s Jose Gregorio Gomez and Rolando Hernandez a long way.

“They are a good team, but their main strength is their attitude – the energy and desire they put into the game,” says their coach Mauro Hernandez.

“They are relatively short for this sport, but compensate that with heart. It is a gift that comes with their personalities, but also something we have been working on for quite some time in training, with simulations and psychological guidance.”

After winning bronze at beach volleyball's Under-19 World Championship in Porto (POR) two weeks ago, the pair arrive at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games in promising form.

“It will be a tough competition, all the teams are strong here. We plan to play tough and we will fight hard to win,” said Gomez, who is known as ‘Tigrito’ (Little Tiger).

Formerly an indoor specialist, the 1.75m-tall Gomez has decided to focus on beach volleyball. “I have better results on the sand and I like the environment more. It’s about the adrenaline and the public. Every match is a great experience,” he says.

In Pool F, the Venezuelans will play Indonesia, Poland, USA, Rwanda and Austria, beginning their tournament against Rwanda on court three at the Nanjing Youth Olympic Sports Park on 17 August.

“It’s a tough group, and there are many teams who could win these Games. I’m thinking especially about Russia, Brazil, Ukraine, France, Austria, Argentina, Poland and Puerto Rico,” added coach Hernandez.

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