FIVB Hero Neslihan Darnel and her teammates beat Poland in straight sets in yesterday’s final in Ankara. Turkey had an undefeated run through the tournament and triumphed over reigning world champions Russia with their star Ekaterina Gamova in the semi-final.
Poland and Joanna Kaczor had not only won against Germany in the semi-final, but had past experience to draw on for the all-important last game: back in 2003, they had managed to beat Turkey in the final of the European Championship in front of Turkish fans, so they knew what to expect in this difficult environment. Turkey today though is much stronger than nine years ago and proved it most impressively yesterday.
This is a sad moment for Poland, as this was its last chance to secure a ticket to London, but Turkey demonstrated beyond any doubt that it deserves to play at the Olympics. Celebrations were in order: after the last ball the Turkish ladies were dancing on the court surrounded by 8,000 fans that could not have been happier.
Turkey’s biggest dream has come true. We send our congratulations to FIVB Hero Neslihan Darnel on this amazing success and wish her the best of luck in London!