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Mexico preparing to host 2017 Women’s U20 World Championship

 
Lausanne, Switzerland, November 25, 2016 - 2016 brought Mexican volleyball a step closer to joining the world elite. For the first time in 48 years – the Olympic Games were held in Mexico City in 1968 – the men’s national team were represented at the Summer Games.

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Although they suffered five defeats in five games, qualification for the event was, in itself, one of the greatest successes in the history of Mexican volleyball. In 2017, to mark the centenary of the introduction of volleyball in Mexico, the country will reach another milestone in the sport’s development: Boca del Río and Córdoba will host the FIVB Volleyball Women’s U20 World Championships from July 7 to 16.

Mexico is held in high regard around the world as an organiser of major events. The FIVB Men’s U21 World Championships was held successfully here in 2015. Russia won the title and MVP Pavel Pankov was full of praise for the organisers: “This is a place with good memories for me. It will remain so. A very happy place, very good fans and people.”



The FIVB Women’s U20 World Championships will take place in Mexico for the third time. The title went to Germany in 2009, while South Korea was victorious in 1981. Back then, the host nation finished an outstanding fourth. In 2017, hosts Mexico will be making their tenth appearance in the championship. After finishing 15th in 2013 and 2015, the goal is to finish in the top ten.

The Mexican Volleyball Federation has a vision: it wants to be a major world player in volleyball within the next decade. And the Central American country is on the right track: as well as the historic qualification for the Olympic Games in Rio, both of Mexico's teams took part in the 2014 FIVB World Championships for the first time in 32 years. The men finished 17th, the women 21st. Mexican teams have also been involved in the FIVB’s most important annual competitions – the World League (men) and the World Grand Prix (women) – for the last three years.



“These international competitions are good for the national teams and promote volleyball in Mexico. We want to encourage more people to attend matches and play volleyball. We are investing in the future,” said Jesús Perales Navarro, president of Mexico's volleyball association.

Mexican fans naturally have high expectations of the home team. After all, volleyball has a long tradition in the country. The sport was first introduced to Mexico back in 1917. The national teams enjoyed their greatest period of success between 1950 and 1975. The Central American teams were one of the dominant forces of the NORCECA region during this time. The women won gold on their Pan American Games debut in 1955, and followed that by claiming bronze in 1963, 1971 and 1975. It was a similar story at the NORCECA Championship with triumphs in 1969 and 1971, followed by bronze medals in 1975, 1979 and 1981. When they welcomed the world's elite teams at the Mexico City 1968 Olympic Games they finished seventh.

The men’s national team won a silver (1955) and two bronze (1959, 1975) medals in the Pan American Games, and three silvers (1969, 1975, 1977) and two bronze (1971, 1979) at the NORCECA Championship. The highlight of the country’s volleyball history was undoubtedly the World Championship on home soil in 1974. Tens of thousands of fans flocked to the venues around the country, creating a unique atmosphere. Both national teams impressed with strong tenth places – still the best result in the history of the national teams, who have made five (men) and seven (women) appearances in the World Championships. The sport has enjoyed great popularity since the event in 1974 and it is hoped that the next major event, the FIVB Women’s U 20 World Championships, will lay the foundations for a successful future.

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