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Laura Molina and Yvonne Soler want to keep playing for El Salvador

Laura Molina and Yvonne Soler, the Salvadoran beach volleyball duo, get together again with the goal of representing El Salvador, the host country, in the Central American and Caribbean Games San Salvador 2023, which will take place from June 23rd to July 8th.

Laura resumed her training in January, after a brief pause due to the birth of her third child, Wilfredo Fabio, born on December 17th.

“I kept on training until the eighth month of pregnancy, I had my baby, I fully rested for a week, and then I did breathing exercises; on the third week, I started moving more but without jumping, and on the fourth week, I started doing low-impact exercises. I haven’t left volleyball, and I have been back in full since January: I come to train, then I go home to see my baby, I spend the entire day with him, and I go to do some weightlifting at night. Whenever you want, you can”, explained Laura, who has been playing volleyball since she was 17 years old.

Speaking about Soler, she has been active throughout 2022, a period in which she alternated with Laura Molina and Sofía Velásquez.

“Laura never left beach volleyball, she got the good news that she would have a baby, and she continued her training in order to be in shape. We have been working together since January, and we have taken this commitment seriously; having the games at home motivates us, and that makes us give our greatest effort”, Soler expressed.

The Molina-Soler duo had a great weekend by winning their four matches in the First Series of Games established by Carlos Talavera, coach of the Salvadoran Volleyball Federation (Fesavol), and who is part of the selection process prior to the Central American and Caribbean Games San Salvador 2023.

“We won four matches in two sets, and we didn’t lose any. But what I liked the most, is that Laura finished physically superb. This result opens the door for us to participate in the games, and to compete internationally”, said Yvonne, who is a mother of two: Gabriel Tovar, a 16-year-old basketball player, and Emma Lucía, who is six years old.

In addition to the internal process of the Fesavol, the national duo aspires to compete in the dates of the Norceca Tour, in Aguas Calientes, Mexico and Cayman Islands.

There is also the latent dream of qualifying to the Pan American Games Santiago 2023, a goal for which El Salvador needs to remain in the top eight in the Norceca ranking, and to compete in the Volleyball World Cup in Mexico.

Yvonne and Laura started playing as a duo around 15 years ago, including a few pauses due to their respective maternity leaves and personal reasons.

“Yvonne and I have been playing together for years, we look at each other and we already know where the ball is going, things have always been easy with her. We have the same objective of getting in top shape to be able to represent the country in the Central American and Caribbean Games” said Molina, who is also mother to Valentín and Juan Andrés, who are four and two years old, respectively.

Soler explained that she represented El Salvador in the Central American and Caribbean Games 2002 along with Frida Larios, and she is excited to compete again in the regional competition as part of the host country, and with Laura as her partner.

“My first Central American and Caribbean Games were in 2002, that’s when I started my volleyball career, and now I have the opportunity to participate again, we don’t know it, this might be our last year with Laura. We want to compete in the games”, Soler stated.

In case they get the national spot for the San Salvador 2023 Games, the volleyball duo has defined their goals. “We want to be among the top eight places, which I think is achievable, to compete in the Norceca Tour, and to qualify for the Pan American Games Santiago 2023, and perhaps even going to the World Cup” said Laura, who is also a marketer and has her own company.

Their last competition in the Olympic Cycle was at the Pan American Games Toronto 2015.

Molina and Soler made their mark in their first stage in Salvadoran beach volleyball, which lasted a little over a decade. The couple’s track record includes ninth places in the Pan American Games Rio 2007 and Toronto 2015, silver medals in the Central American Cup in 2005, 2008, 2009 and 2010, second place in the Continental Cup, silver in the Norceca 2008 and second place in the Continental Cup 2012, among others.

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