Two World champions in the CEV U23 European Championship in Assen!
2012 CEV U23 Beach Volleyball European Championship
Assen, Netherlands, July 18, 2012. Only three days before the start of the 2012 CEV U23 Beach Volleyball European Championship, two Lithuanian girls experienced the best moment of their young sport lives when they lifted the trophy of winners in the 2012 FIVB SWATCH World Youth Beach Volleyball Championship. Still with the joy in their faces after the sensational gold medal in the tournament celebrated in Larnaca, Ieva Dumbauskaite and Monika Povilaityte travelled to the Dutch city of Assen to search for victory in the under 23 European Championship.
It was a life changing moment for Ieva Dumbauskaite and Monika Povilaityte. At 17 years of age, the two young Lithuanian players achieved a success that many athletes dream a lifetime to accomplish. In the Cypriot city of Larnaca, the players respectively born in Klapeida and Kelme became champions of the world with a sensational victory in the final match against Karolina Baran/Katarzyna Kociolek of Poland, a victory that became a sensation in the Baltic country: it was the first title for a Lithuanian women’s duo in the tournament. “It is an honor to be the first women’s team to win a gold medal for Lithuania in the FIVB SWATCH Youth World Championships”, said Dumbauskaite after the epic triumph. “It was only our second participation in a world championship, so after we won, we just felt euphoria”.
“Wait, Did we just do that?”
With barely enough time to assimilate the historic success, and travelling straight from Cyprus, the Lithuanian team took their World champions trophy, their gold medals and their bags full of hope, and initiated the trip to attempt a new challenge, namely the CEV U23 Beach Volleyball European Championship.
“It was a dream”, said Monika Povilaityte, recounting the glorious days in Larnaca. “Yes, it was like: ‘Wait, Did we just do that?”, added Ieva Dumbauskaite; “But now it is finished, we have to focus on this tournament”, pointed out Dumbauskaite, the younger of the duo only by 8 days.
This sensational achievement is nonetheless not easy to forget. Actually, the success of the Lithuanian team was so relevant that it received the praise of CEV Vice-President and tournament Jury President, Jan Hronek, who congratulated the players upon their arrival at the competition technical meeting. “It doesn’t happen very often that we have the chance to have among us two World Champions, so please I would like to request a round of applause in their honor”, said Hronek. “We just want to play and do all our best in this tournament”, commented a humble Dumbauskaite.
Despite their youth, the Lithuanian duo was aware that the kindliness would end right at that moment, as they became the target and the team to beat in the sand. “We are younger than most of the teams here, so we know it is not going to be easy for us”, said Povilaityte. “We are aware that they want to beat us and that they are not scared by what we did”, pointed out Dumbauskaite. They could not be more right, as the Lithuanian girls debuted in the tournament with a defeat, after losing in the first match against Kolosinska/Paszek, from Poland 2-0 (21-13, 21-13).
Therefore, the two young Lithuanian players were able to learn in the first day of competition of the 2012 CEV U23 Beach Volleyball European Championship one of the biggest lessons of sports: sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but a World Championship title lasts forever. “We will see what happens from now on”, said Dumbauskaite, looking at a bright future.
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