Named the best player of the 20th century by the FIVB and a three-time Olympic champion, Regla Torres faces a very different situation as an assistant coach with the Cuban national team.
Cuba topped the world with crowns at the Olympic Games in 1992, 1996 and 2000. Cuba dominated the world of women’s volleyball, and in 1992 in Barcelona, Torres became the youngest winner of an Olympic gold medal in her sport at the age of 17 and a half years. old.
Guillén Dumont remembers well that period when Cuban selection imposed its law. “They were unbeatable,” sums up the Olympian from the 2004 Olympics in Athens. They were much more athletic than anyone else. I had very good momentum, but there were six players from Jaylen Dumont on the other side of the net. There were also girls who had better drive than me.
The multi-year Cuban assistant selector, the 6’3″ former powerhouse, believes patience will be required before Cuba regains its place among world powers.
She warned, “The current situation is not easy to accept, but we must be patient.” We will not be able to return to the same level as the best teams in the short term. “With so many girls leaving, we are rebuilding with a new generation of players.”
“I started playing volleyball at a young age while players now reach the national team with very little experience. Volleyball schools have to be reborn to develop techniques and fundamentals. In my era, the conditions for success were in place to win, and that is no longer the case.”
Some players left the communist regime. The best Cuban player plays in Türkiye, where she obtained the citizenship of her adopted country. Same for the men as one of the best players on the planet wore Poland’s colors at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
“It is very difficult to lose a good player like that, but we have to develop the younger players. Volleyball players can now play abroad, where they receive 80% of their salaries while the rest is paid to the Cuban Federation. For my part, I had obtained permission to play in “Italy and Japan, otherwise I would never have left. Cuba is my country.”
Bronze medal for Canada
After losing to the Dominican Republic on Saturday in the semifinals of the Norseca Women’s Volleyball Continental Championship, Canada came back strong on Sunday with a 25-21, 25-17, 17-25, 25-16 win over Cuba. To get the bronze medal.
In the final, the great American team lost in five sets to the Dominican Republic with scores of 12-25, 25-21, 19-25, 25-19 and 15-13.
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