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04/01/2020 17:02
Resolve and fighting spirit settle over Berlin
CEV Tokyo Volleyball European Qualification 2020 - Men

Berlin, Germany, January 4, 2020.  On the eve of Europe’s men’s Olympic qualification tournament set to get underway on Sunday, a media meeting was held at the Wyndham Garden Berlin Mitte with some of the protagonists sharing their thoughts on the upcoming race for a single Tokyo 2020 ticket.

Sam Deroo, captain of Belgium: “For sure it’s exciting! I think this tournament will be very high-level. Almost all top European teams are here... I feel great. We have some physical problems in the team, but we hope to get everyone fit for tomorrow’s game. I think it will be hard, of course. We already feel the pressure. We are not favourites for this tournament, so I hope we can approach it with some kind of ‘over my dead body’ mentality and nothing to lose and see how far we can get with that.”

Michal Nekola, coach of Czech Republic: “For us this is a unique opportunity to go to the Olympic Games. So we will fight for every ball and this is our goal.”

Jakub Janouch, captain of Czech Republic: “I feel good about this tournament, because for us it is a big chance. We don’t get to play for this every day. Even if it is just one ticket, we are here to fight for it.”

Andrea Giani, coach of Germany: “We feel very well and I am positive about this qualification. I think it’s so difficult, because we will play against the big teams of Europe and we have only one chance to win the ticket, but we will play hard in every match.”

Tine Urnaut, captain of Slovenia: “This qualification is the only thing we are thinking about now. The whole team is here; the only player we are missing is outside spiker Alen Sket. We are well prepared, but we know that it’s a really tough tournament and it’s a tough group. Only one team passes and we’ll do our best to take the ticket to Tokyo.”

Viktor Yosifov, captain of Bulgaria: “This is our last chance to be in Tokyo. For sure, this will be a strong tournament, with some of the best European teams. All of them are here with just one purpose – the Olympic Games. So it will be tough, but we are in a good condition. We will do our best and we will enjoy our time here.”

Benjamin Toniutti, captain of France: “We know it will be a tough competition. It’s like a mini European Championship, without Italy, Russia and Poland. Here we have the European champions and the second and the fourth of the European Championship in the same competition, but only one ticket. So we know that it will be really difficult, also because it is in the middle of the season and we had only six or seven days to prepare. About our team – we have a lot of problems with injuries, we are missing some players, but we will fight with the players who are here to get the last ticket to Tokyo.”

Nimir Abdel-Aziz, captain of the Netherlands: “Over recent years we grew up as a team. Of course, we are still not on the top of Europe, but we are doing well. We had short time for practice, just like all other teams, but we can all say we are ready right now.”

Slobodan Kovač, coach of Serbia: “At this moment, I feel really good, because our result at the European Championship gives us a lot of satisfaction about the whole season. But this is about qualification to the Olympic Games and it is normal to feel pressure. No medals are given at this tournament; it’s important only to be first. We want to be first, but the other teams are really good. It’s like a small European Championship, so we will try to repeat our good result and win this tournament.”

For further information, visit the official event website

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