You know what would be awesome? If the FIVB went back to the old rules and had the ECh finalists participate at World Cup. That way those teams would have just a couple of days to arrange their trip to Japan, which would be so much fun. Please make it happen!
No, she got her medal. I don't know whose medal it was, but it certainly wasn't of any of the players. It could have been Terzić's, since he's the one who presented it as a "special gift", but I doubt that. I don't know if national federations also get medals as memorabilia of some kind, if so, that was probably the case.
It was tacky as hell, that's for sure. And I get why they did it, in order to keep their funding. This guy is basically an Erdogan-wannabe, so you can imagine how much he wants to be involved in everything. But still I wish it hadn't happened and now this controversy is starting to overshadow the fact that they have WON that medal in the first place.
Hopefully it will all blow over soon and be forgotten by the time the next NT competition begins.
So, European teams will have to be in Japan playing LESS THAN A WEEK after finishing the ECh? How utterly ridiculous is that?!
Both the FIVB and the CEV should be ashamed.
Oh, and now watch the FIVB schedule the Olympic Qualifier for like August 17-20.
What a massive welcome home they got.......really really cool.
I think it should have been even bigger. And probably would have been had their WCh games been shown on national TV, like I said previously. Unfortunately, a lot of people were unable to watch them actually win the gold medal. It's not the same when you just hear about it on the news later.
And now there's some controversy as they (or rather, Terzić) gifted a medal to the president of Serbia, who is hugely unpopular (for a very good reason, I might add) among a large part of the population, and now many people are shitting all over them because of that. The whole thing makes me sad.
On the other hand, Maja basically confirmed she'll be there for the Tokyo Olympics, so that's good.
Wasn´t she highly "pushed" by her coaching father (Ivan or something) during her career, especially initally? In such case its in line with the experience that affected the likes of some female tennis players such as Jelena Dokic. But I have just some vague recollections in my memory considering Jelic, perhaps its just "out of the blue", correct me if so.
She was. Her father was the NT coach throughout the 90s, which on occasion caused considerable friction on the team, with another legendary Croatian player Nataša Leto-Osmokrović openly accusing the coach of giving his daughter the preferential treatment and neglecting the team play in favour in favour of Barbara's individual stats (which would give her extra prize money as the best scorer, the best spiker etc).
But she really was exceptionally talented and physically gifted, that can't be denied. And it is a shame she retired so soon, but it wasn't really surprising considering volleyball was literally the only thing she ever did in her life since she was a child and naturally at some point she wanted something else.
Yes, but in 1998 the old scoring system was still in use.
From what I remember, Tishchenko had a very serious injury. Jelić on the other hand simply lost the motivation to play after she got married and gave birth and wanted to spend her time with the family.
I'm sure Barbara Jelić would have been on that list had she ever played a WCh under the new scoring system. Her 53 points scored against Italy at ECh '99 are still mind-blowing.
Here's another thing - the next year's ECh will be expanded, featuring 24 teams, which means the format will be different. Compared to the previous edition, the teams reaching the medal matches stage will have played 9 matches in total instead of 6 (or 7). Also, with the tournament being hosted by four countries, you need to have days off to accommodate the travelling, which means the tournament will need to take up two weeks at the very least. Men's basketball ECh '17 was played with the same format and the competition was played out over 18 days.
How they're going to squeeze all that in the already overcrowded calendar is beyond me.
OK, that makes sense. Still, I think having both the Olympic qualifier and the ECh within the same month is a bit too much, especially as some teams will certainly play their QTs in remote places like Asia, after all the travelling they will have done during the VNL.
And then having to play WC on top of that is just an overkill.
I'm sure Radenković will get a call again, but Terzić just doesn't seem to trust/like her. I'd like to see more of her on NT, but she never gets much of a chance.
I really wish we had played this year's VNL differently and that more players had been given a chance.
Yes, the ECh can be held in August (wasn't it also like that in 2003?), but then the question is when the Olympic qualifier will be played. Those will be small tournaments that won't take up much time, but given their immense importance, the teams should be given some time to prepare for it.
Ideally, the Olympic qualifying tournaments should be held in August. That way teams could have the opportunity to prepare through VNL and some time to rest and recover. But with the WC being held until late September, there's really not much time left for ECh, so...
I'm starting to think it will look like this and I don't like it one bit:
Early May - Olympic Qualifer
Late May to early July - VNL
August - ECh
September - WC
That would be horrible as it would mean the teams would have to start their seasons with most important tournament and end it with the least important one.
I'm sure Terzić will be thrilled to have to play this tournament
But seriously, I don't understand how the calendar is going to work next year. This thing apparently ends in late September. So, when is the ECh going to be played? It HAS to finish by the end of October because the club season needs to start at that time, so what gives? The European teams participating at WC will go straight from Japan (having played 11 matches in two weeks) to Europe to play again. I think it will be impossible for them to play both tournaments with their A teams.
And when you throw the VNL and the Olympic qualifier in the mix... It's gonna be fun. Oh, FIVB, you never fail to disappoint.
Is it just me or was the level of the top teams a bit disappointing? I think hardly any of them was able to reach their potential. Obviously injuries weakend some teams (Milenkovic-Serbia, Goncharova/Krotkova-Russia, Natalia-Brasil etc.) but even without them I would've expected a higher level from most teams.
I wouldn't exactly call it disappointing. It's true that none of them managed to show their A+ game for 100% of time and that the semis and medal macthes were very nervous affairs with lots of ups and downs, which was perhaps a bit unfortunate. On the other hand, it made for some unbelievable drama, and from the spectator point of view, it's probably better than having both teams play "well" only for the match to end in a 3-0 blowout anyway.
I also thought that some mid- and lower-level teams showed some inspiring stuff throughout the tournament. Even though they predictably lost to their objectively better opponents, most of the time they didn't go down without a fight. It was nice to see.
There was a funny moment when Maja Ognjenović was being interviewed. In the end the journalist asked her if she'll be on the team for the Tokyo Olympics, and just at that moment Maja's husband shows up and says "Yes, I just talked to Terzić, she's gonna be there, it's a done deal"
I took it as Maja acknowledging that Milena had been the team captain in her absence, which was a really nice touch IMO.
I don't think it's possible to deduct whether there's been some controversy over the captain role based on that alone.
What I did notice, or perhaps it was just an impression, was that the team seem more and more united in their on court demeanor as the tournament went on and literally everyone interacted with each other in celebrations and such.
It's another example of the FIVB's shadiness. If they were going to award points for VNL, there's no reason why the rankings weren't updated already in August and why the point distribution wasn't known in advance.
This way it looks like they're trying to manipulate the rankings in order to help someone - and no, I don't have any particular team in my mind, it's just how it feels.
OTOH, if the VNL doesn't count, it's meaningless to have rankings based on just three events, one of them being held almost 4 years ago, at that.
It's just a mess.
Speaking of Maja and her husband, here's a fun fact - they now have the same career highlights. They've both won the European title, the World title and the Olympic silver.
In fact that is something we can say about the entire team. Other than the OH2 position, it has been the same team ever since 2015. Obviously that’s because it’s a great team but I’d like to see some more young players coming through and at least being considered as reliable backup players.
So would I, but I'm not sure how realistic it is at the moment. Katarina Lazović might get a spot if Milenković doesn't recover (and I'm really worried about that one - see Malagurski) and Malešević may be dropped completely if she doesn't get herself together and that's about it.
I don't really see any changes on other positions. MBs look set for at least another few years, especially with Mina Popović's injury woes. Like I said, I definitely think we need a stronger back-up OPP than Bjelica, but I don't think there's a short term solution available at the moment.
As for the setters, I really don't think Živković is going anywhere, although we really should start investing in Mirković a lot more.
Basically, barring injuries, the team for Tokyo is more or less set. What happens after that is anyone's guess.
I think it's impossible to know the world rankings at the moment as it's still not sure how the FIVB is going to award the points for VNL or if they're going to give out any points for it in the first place.
Everyone seems to be sure Maja will be sticking around for Tokyo, but somehow I'm not. I think winning another WCh medal (especially since her first one was with a completely different team) was a huge challenge for her, and now that she's not only won a medal, but the gold one, I'm really not sure how much motivation she has left. OTOH, her husband seems extremely supportive of her career, being a former pro athlete himself, so whatever she decides, it will be a decision she made for herself.
Terzić once talked about the WCh gold being his only unfulfilled dream and that he would resign from NT if he could achieve that. That was before he had a contract, however, and I really doubt he'd break it at this point with the Olympics coming close, but I'm sure that Tokyo will be the last we see from him on Serbian NT. It will be so weird without him, I can't really imagine it yet.