Turkish women’s volleyball team grabs ticket to Tokyo

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Turkey snatched a ticket to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after winning the women’s CEV European continental qualifier.

In Jan. 12’s grand finale, the Turks delivered a straight-set victory over Germany, symbolizing their right to compete at the Games in the Japanese capital.

Coach Giovanni Guidetti’s squad prevailed over Germany in the final of the continental Olympic qualifier in Apeldoorn, mastering a 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 25-22) victory to book their ticket to Tokyo 2020.

Turkey’s Hande Baladin was the highest scorer of the match with 18 points.

“There is one thing that this team does very well,” said Turkish captain Eda Erdem Dündar. “We believe in each other. We pass our energy to each other.”

Coach Guidetti praised his players and the fans.

“Only a great team made from great players and guided and taken care from a great staff can do what only the 5 percent of the teams in the world can achieve,” the Italian coach wrote on Twitter.

“Going to the Olympic Games!!!!! Tokyo we are coming :)!!!! Thank you players and staff! Thank you Turkish supporters,” he added.

He told Anadolu Agency that Turkey played a very difficult tournament.

“This is the most difficult tournament in the World,” he said. “Our team made a rough start, but finished on a high note, and I am very happy. I also want to thank the supporters, Apeldoorn was tonight like a small Ankara.”

He added that the Turkish women will face a very important test at the Olympic Games.

The only time Turkey appeared at the Olympics was at London 2012 after winning the continental qualification at home in Ankara. At the Games in the British capital, they won two out of five matches, but failed to advance to the quarterfinals.

Showing no signs of fatigue from the exhausting five-set semifinal it played the night before, Turkey stormed into the first set on Jan. 12 on a 7-2 run, leaving Germany no chance of coming back and expanding its lead to a convincing 25-17 ending.

The second set was way more competitive and, although Turkish captain Erdem Dündar showed great performances from the serving line and was impeccable in offense, the Germans managed to stay close behind in the score for the most part. After coach Felix Koslowski’s team came back to within a point at 20-19, the Turks reacted with five in a row to win 25-19.

With their backs against the wall, the Germans committed far too many mistakes in the third set. Still, after two aces in a row by Hanna Orthmann, the score was level at 22-22. Luck was also on Turkey’s side when Naz Aydemir Akyol’s serve tipped the net and fell on the German side to deliver match point. Meliha Ismailoğlu put the ball away to convert it into 25-22 and a 3-0 victory.

Hurriyet Daily News

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