In Argentine sports, few truths are greater than that of “unity is strength.” Where individual sports athletes, who often have to train on their own, encounter difficulties, those who play as a team manage to take their talent further; on a large number of occasions, aided by external infrastructure. At these 2020 Tokyo Olympics, however, the game as a whole is not being synonymous with success.
Yes, it is the boot; yes, in almost all cases there is a tomorrow and everything can change. But in the absence of the Argentine basketball team making its debut, the rest of the national teams could not make a firm footing at the start of this Japanese appointment.
They were five defeats and just one draw. Although some of those falls were quite logical, the truth is that the albiceleste teams could not prevail either in those cases in which the papers indicated that they had tools to do so.
What is expected
Men’s volleyball had started in great shape, ahead of the team in the first set. Russian Olympic Committee (The selection of Russia, although due to the sanction that weighs on that country for the scandal of the State doping they cannot compete under its flag). However, everything remained in that first quarter: Marcelo Méndez’s team fell 1-3.
Ezequiel Palacios, Agustin Loser and Luciano de Cecco try to block against Russia. Photo Yuri Cortez / AFP
And although on the one hand the defeat was to be expected, since the Russians they never came down from fourth place At the Olympic Games, Argentine men’s volleyball has shown that it has something to fight with against the powers. Without going any further, in Rio 2016 Argentina won their group precisely beating Russia 3 to 1. But this time it could not be.
The men’s handball did not have much better luck, as it also faced a cuckoo like France, perhaps even more brave: finalist of the last two Olympics. (two golds and one silver) and winner of four of the last six World Cups. So 27-33 against it did not escape logic even if there was a glimmer of hope in view of success at this year’s World Cup against two-time Olympic champion Croatia.
Argentina had a hard time stopping France at handball. Photo Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP
In that path of the expected was the defeat of Las Panteras, the women’s volleyball team, against the United States. For women it is just about the second Olympic participation in history and the rival is a triple silver country in this event and world champion in 2014. The 0-3 was totally within the plans.
Jeremias Ledesma, the frustration of the Argentine goalkeeper. Photo REUTERS / Kim Hong-Ji
The first fall was maybe the most surprising: the soccer team that took a 2-0 loss to Australia. Despite the fact that Fernando Batista’s team does not even have those over 23 years of age that it could have led, it faced a historically inferior team and was outmatched, something almost inappropriate for a country twice Olympic champion in recent editions (Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008).
But just as in men’s handball or women’s volleyball, missteps could be expected, which happened with field hockey, without being a “surprise”, he was closer to football.
Because the Lions are the current Olympic champions, so that even if a respectable Spain was ahead, the 1 to 1 left a bitter taste for Mariano Ronconi’s team and even the protagonists themselves made it clear.
Argentina suffered against Spain in men’s hockey. AP Photo / John Minchillo
To add insult to injury Lucas rossi He will not be able to be in this Sunday’s game against Japan since he received a suspension date for the altercation at the end of the game against the Iberians.
The same happened with Las Leonas, who faced an always difficult opponent like New Zealand. But the 0-3, a categorical result with a difference against that it was not seen from 2-5 against the Netherlands in the semifinals of Beijing 2008, it was a hard blow for Carlos Lock Retegui and company.
In the early hours of this Monday (1.40 in the morning), basketball will make its presentation to the tough Slovenia of Luka Doncic, NBA star. Will you be able to achieve the first collective success in Tokyo 2020 and start making friends with the rich history of team sports?