News

16/06/2016 18:14
Turkish home stars show boundless ambitions
2016 CEV U20 Beach Volleyball European Championships

Antalya, Turkey, June 16, 2016. Many of the participants of the 2016 CEV U20 Beach Volleyball European Championships travelled quite far to reach the beautiful venue at the beach of Antalya. Not the Turkish home favourites Merve Nezir and Yaren Sencel. Nezir and Sencel are members of the Turkish Beach Volleyball programme which is based in Antalya. In the popular holiday destination they are practicing every day to achieve their ultimate dream: becoming the first Turkish women’s Beach Volleyball team to qualify for the Olympics.

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The day started early for Nezir and Sencel at the Wow Hotels Kundu venue. At nine o’clock in the morning the talents from the Turkish Federation opened the centre court programme with their match against Spain. After winning the first set convincingly, the Spanish girls Tania Moreno Matveeva and Maria Belén Carro took over control of the game and won the match with 2-1 (9-21, 24-22, 15-11).  

After losing their first match, the 18-year old Nezir and Sencel were determined to perform better in the afternoon. Serbia’s Tijana Basic/Irena Drobnjak proved to be a tough opponent, but eventually the Turkish team claimed the victory in the third set after an impressive block from Nezir (25-27, 21-17, 15-9). On Friday Turkey will meet Greece’s Maria Klepkou/Paraskevi Kourtidou in the last pool match.

Just after the second match the home heroines cared to talk about playing on home soil and their boundless ambitions for the future. “We are very lucky to train on a daily basis in Antalya,” said Merve Nezir. “This location has the perfect conditions to train such as a beautiful beach and good weather. Yaren and I are playing only our third tournament together, but our goal is to reach the semi-finals.”

The less experienced Yaren Sencel just recently made the choice to focus full-time on Beach Volleyball. “I have joined the programme only two months ago, and I’m determined to improve my skills as fast as possible. The next years I will do everything I can to become a better Beach Volleyball player.”

Merve Nezir is not afraid of talking about the high goals she set with her partner: “We want to play in the main draw of the CEV and FIVB tournaments as soon as possible. Eventually we hope to reach the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020. If this dream comes true, we will be the first Turkish women’s Beach Volleyball team to participate in the Olympics.”

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