Father-son duo in volleyball battle

Jul 14, 2012, 08:29 IST | AFP

Jon Uriarte says it's destiny and a gift that his Australian team will face his son Nicolas and native Argentina in their opening volleyball pool match at the London Olympics.

Uriarte, 50, is in his second coaching stint in Australia and his reward for qualifying the ‘Volleyroos’ for London is a showdown to conflict the loyalties of his family back in Buenos Aires.

Australian coach Jon Uriarte and his son Nicolas (top) who plays for Argentina

Uriarte, who won a bronze medal with Argentina at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, has coached his home country in between stints with Australia in 2001-2004 and since May last year.

Australia qualified for a second Olympics after finishing ahead of higher-ranked Iran, Japan, China and South Korea at a qualifying tournament in Tokyo in June.

He roars with laughter at the thought his emerging Australian team will have his country of birth, organised by setter Nicolas, lining up on the other side of the net in their opening game at Earl’s Court on July 29.

“It’s some kind of gift. I can’t believe it that I would be at the Olympics with my son for our own achievements,” Uriarte told AFP.

“Nicolas is now 22, he’s earned his position in the Argentina national team and I’ve been so happy that life has given me this opportunity for my work to be so fulfilled.

“My son is having a similar opportunity and he is earning his position in the national team and then we are going to be together in the same party at the Olympics, that is something amazing.”

Jon is in regular contact with his family and Nicolas through Internet video calls.  

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