Lausanne, Switzerland, August 3, 2015 – Turkey’s reputation as a volleyball paradise will continue to grow when Ankara hosts the second edition of the FIVB Women's U23 World Championship from August 12-19.
It is the first of two major volleyball tournaments that the country will host with the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games qualifying tournament taking place there in January 2016.
It is the women’s teams that have been leading the way and this year Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul won the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship. It continues a proud run of success in the tournament that also featured wins for Fenerbahce in 2010) and Vakifbank in 2013.
Turkish teams have been able to attract some of the world’s leading female players to the Bosphorus region notably Brazilian star Sheilla Castro, world champion Jordan Quinn Larson-Burbach from the USA and three-time club world champion Christiane Furst of Germany. They have also been able to attract top-line coaches such as Italian duo Giovanni Guidetti of Vakifbank Istanbul and Giovanni Caprara of Eczacibasi Istanbul, both of whom led their teams to victory in the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship.
The rising level of Turkey’s teams is reflected in the improving level of the Turkish women’s team and their players. Neslihan Demir-Güler is the only player to be named “Best Scorer” in two consecutive FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championships when she racked up 225 points in 2006 and 251 in 2010. When Turkey qualified for an Olympic tournament for the first time at London 2012, it was Demir-Güler who was flag bearer at the opening ceremony.
Turkey has enjoyed a meteoric rise since they won silver when Ankara hosted the 2003 CEV European Volleyball Championships. In 2011 they won European bronze and a year later bronze at the World Grand Prix. Along the way they made their World Championship debut in 2006, when they finished 10th. Four years on they finished sixth and then ninth in 2014.
Turkey’s teams have been enjoying success at age-group level and won medals at three of the past four European Junior Championship, including gold as hosts in 2012. The hope is now that they repeat that home success.