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24/09/2017 16:50
Mum Strashimira back to propel Bulgaria into Playoff stage of women’s EuroVolley
2017 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Women

Baku, Azerbaijan, September 24, 2017. After they failed to live up to everyone’s expectations in the 2011, 2013 and 2015 editions of the EuroVolley, Bulgaria travelled to Azerbaijan without explicitly setting the bar too high. However, they have caught a promising start to their campaign by recording two consecutive tiebreak wins over Ukraine and Turkey to sport a perfect record in Pool C. Strashimira Simeonova is among those who have contributed to Bulgaria’s success story in Baku so far. This is even more remarkable as she has returned to competitive sport only five months after the birth of her baby daughter, Monika.

Best known under her maiden name Filipova, ‘Strashi’ is obviously happy with Bulgaria’s results so far. “We experienced quite a lot of disappointment at the European Championship two years ago and as a result we travelled to Baku focusing mostly only on our first match in the pool, without setting any too specific goals. Back in 2015, we failed to make it through to the knockout stage and that was a huge disappointment for all of us. We are obviously happy with what we have done and achieved so far here in Baku.”

Her face simply lights up when asked about her five-month-old daughter. “It is true – yesterday I played my first match since Monika’s birth but I resumed training quite shortly after delivering my baby. Obviously, my life has changed a lot. Previously, when returning home after a training session or a match, I would spend most of my time thinking about that one rally or mistake, what I could have done better, why we lost that one game, etc. Right now, I know I have my daughter waiting for me and my life is not all about Volleyball. When she looks and smiles at me – any sorrows or similar thoughts somehow disappear.”

Monika has stayed in Bulgaria with her dad and grandmother, but ‘Strashi’ is regularly in touch with the family. “We speak every day and have video calls via Skype or Viber, so I can see Monika and she somehow waves with her little hand at me. My husband is a lawyer and we have already started debating about what our daughter should do in life, whether she should get involved in law or sport. Of course, I wish one day she would be playing Volleyball as well,” Simeonova said.  

Strashi has travelled the world playing in countries as diverse as Poland, France, Russia and Azerbaijan – but she does not know yet where she will be heading for the coming season. “I do not know yet what is next – but one thing is for sure. Since I have a baby daughter and want to spend as much time as possible with her, I will probably try and find a way not to stay too far from Bulgaria.”   

Finally, Simeonova reveals her connection with Baku, where she spent the last few competitive seasons. “I can only say good things about Baku, Azerbaijan and the people here. They are very warm and welcoming – and they always do their best to help and provide any assistance if needed. On top of this, the level of their organisation is always very high – and this applies to this tournament as well.”

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News nr. 5351 of 23547
24/09/2017 21:05:00
Serbia secure top spot in Pool D, with the Netherlands 2nd and Czech Republic 3rd
24/09/2017 16:06:00
Bulgaria record second tiebreak victory after drama-filled match with Turkey
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