The first day of the tournament in Ankara showed clearly who is favorite to book their ticket to London. The competition, with three matches a day, opened with Germany vs. Croatia.
FIVB Hero Margareta Kozuch and her teammates totally dominated the match and gave no chance to Croatia winning 3:0 (25:12, 25:16, 25:17). The captain of the German national team was clearly pleased with their performance: ”We are happy to start with a victory in a tournament that is so difficult for all teams. We are already looking forward to the next games.”
The next match featured a confrontation of our two FIVB Heroes – Joanna Kaczor and Manon Flier. The Netherlands didn’t show their best play, in contrast to Poland who played solidly in every aspect, especially with their blocking. With the exception of the third set, Manon and her team-mates, were unable to cope with the Polish wall and this time Kaczor with Poland came out on top, winning 3:1 (25:18, 25:23, 23:25, 25:13).
Manon voiced her disappointment: “In the third set we played better and did not give up,” she said. “But I don’t know why we could not play well in the fourth set. It was probably because of lack of confidence.”
At the end of the first day the host team Turkey, with our FIVB Hero Neslihan Darnel, faced Bulgaria. Turkey, with their “seventh player” – the supporting fans, gave no chances to Bulgaria and won in straight sets 3:0 (25:21, 25:17, 25:15). Turkey proved they are very dangerous and one of the favourite to book their place in London.
On the second day there Ekaterina Gamova and team Russia will get the opportunity to stand up and show their opponents they are also here to win this competition. Victory will be more difficult for Serbia, who arrived in Ankara without their captain and FIVB Hero Jelena Nikolic, who suffered a foot injury and is unable to compete. Nevertheless, Jovana Brakocevic and team Serbia will do their best to reach the final!
Game is not over yet, so stay tuned and follow results of our FIVB Heroes!