The second day of olympic qualifications has finally brought some excitement to stands, as two big matches finished in breathtaking tie-breaks and upset the biggest favorites!

And again Holland! Not giving up after defeat against Poland, Oranjes returned to match with reigning European champions from Serbia when already losing 2:0 and after hard struggle upset the favorites!

“Today we succeeded thanks to our bench,” said Christian Van der Wel after match when his team was again losing in 4th match 7:16 and 15:21. After surviving dozens of match points of their opponent, Holland stormed in the tie-break with rarely seen 8:0 and 10:1 score, then won 15:11 a kept their hopes for semifinals live!

And who was the bench-factor? Definitely outside hitter Lenneke Sloetjes with 23 points and middle blocker Quinta Steenbergen, while setter Kim Staelens effectively organized their game.

Long-expected big battles of Pool B finally took place yesterday. Russia, probably the hottest candidate for 2012 Olympics ticket, lost their match against Poland in 18:16 tie-break!

Russia had a bit of cold-start in their first qualification game and throughout the game, there were not such a breathtaking moments like in the previous game, as both teams easily maintained their leading after 2nd technical timeout and were winning their sets to 2:2 score.

Poland was clever with well-aimed flot serves and blocks, forcing Russian setter to play high-balls in attack, but still not forcing Russian coach Ovchnnikov to substite any player. Skowronska and vell serving middle blocker Bednarek-Kasza were the key-players of Poland. “We had problems in attack with hight Russian blocks, but were fortunate enought to win,” commented Polish captain Katarzyna Skorupa.

And then there was Turkey, whose “Sultans of the Net” became sport icons of this month, passionately supported throughout all country´s media. Their performance against Croatia was enough to win 3:0 and secure the semifinals, but, however, not to convince about its rising tendency. After two easy games, match against Germany will show the real power of Turkish team.

So what have we seen until now? Things are getting interesting, as except of Bulgaria and Croatia, all other teams have chance to get to semifinals. Especially Russia and Serbia will have to put everything into their important clash and Turkey will face Germany in match for the 1st position in Pool A.

Day 2 results:

Holland – Serbia 3:2 (20-25, 28-30, 28-26, 30-28, 15-11)

Russia – Poland 2:3 (17-25, 25-16, 21-25, 25-19, 16-18)

Turkey – Croatia 3:0 (-23, 25, 21)


Day 3 programmel (watch live at

13:00 CET Serbia – Russia

15:30 CET Bulgaria – Croatia

18:00 CET Turkey – Germany


Photos: Murat Haktanir