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22/03/2019 14:40
Slovenia’s superstar Iza Mlakar – from gymnastics to Volleyball
News from the National Federations

Ljubljana, Slovenia, March 22, 2019. Although Iza Mlakar, one of the best-ever female Volleyball players from Slovenia, started her sports career as a gymnast, she could not quite escape Volleyball. Her father Bojan Mlakar was captain of the former Yugoslavia’s junior national team and her older brother Til was a member of the so far best generation of male players (those born in 1988 and 1989), together with Tine Urnaut, Matevž Kamnik, Gregor Ropret, Alen Šket, and some others.  

Iza, who is also a very successful Medicine student and wants to become a surgeon, tried to pave her own sports path at the beginning, but it turned out her height would be an obstacle in pursuing her career as a gymnast. As her mother Marga Mlakar was also involved in Volleyball, there was no second guess as to in which sport Iza would continue her way.

The now 23-year-old player from Ravne na Koroškem made her first Volleyball steps with OK Prevalje, but she could immediately draw the attention of the most successful Slovenian club, Nova KBM Branik MARIBOR, and signed her first contract already in 2012, when she was only 16. She owes much credit from Nova KBM Branik for winning five national championship titles and four national cup trophies.

By the age of 17, she was already a member of Slovenia’s senior National team, which at that time qualified for their first EuroVolley appearance, and in 2017 she led Slovenia to a historic silver medal at the FIVB U23 World Championship, which at the same time accounted for Slovenia’s first-ever medal in women’s team sports.

Iza was the best opposite hitter of the championship, which was only one in a series of prizes she has won. Among others, she was Slovenia’s female Volleyball player of the year in 2017 and 2018.

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