Paris Olympics

With the Paris Olympics just around the corner, more and more athletes and national teams are intensifying their preparations for the qualifying events in order to secure the most coveted spot of the year: the Olympic berth.

Last week alone, the top two national teams in the world rankings, Turkey and the USA, made it past this stage and secured berths at the Paris Olympics by emerging victorious at the FIVB Road to Paris Olympic Volleyball Qualifying Tournament (OQT).

Turkey beats Japan for Paris Olympics

On September 3, the Turkish women’s volleyball team, also known as the Sultans of the Net, made history when they claimed their first ever top-spot at the CEV Europe Volleyball Championships 2023. They defeated Serbia in a nail-biting 3-2 match and were officially crowned European Champions at the end of the day.

“In the 100th anniversary of our Republic, we first won the League of Nations, then became the European champion. We wrote an incredible story. I’m happy, I’m proud!,” Team captain Eda Erdem said.

And not even a month after this milestone, Turkey proved to the world that the championship was no fluke as they came out victorious in their match against Japan with a score of 3-1 (22-25, 25-22, 26-24, 25-12), thus securing their place at the Olympics.

Turkish Airlines honored the Sultans with a cake and a trip package when they boarded the plane to celebrate their victory, according to EHA News.

US beats Germany

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If at the FIBA World Cup, Germany defeated the US in the semifinals, this time it’s the other way around. At the FIVB competition, the US edged out Germany with a score of 3-1 (24-26, 25-21, 25-9, 25-16) and earned a ticket to the Olympics as well as the number two spot in the world rankings.

According to USA Volleyball, the US particularly gained an advantage over Germany in the attack, scoring 69-41, which was led by Annie Drews. In an interview following the match, Drews stated that she had played in a way that would have left her with no regret. This mindset had been present throughout the entire match, which allowed her to play at her best against Germany.

“Can we truly say we have nothing left in the tank or finished with no regrets? So that was in the back of my mind tonight; playing in a way where I wouldn’t regret anything.”, Drews said.

Another key player who made a massive contribution to the team’s success is the outside hitter, Jordan Larson. At the conclusion of the match, Larson, humbled by the experience, commended Germany for coming out strong. Subsequently, she also went on to say how proud she was of her team.

“Props to Germany for coming out strong in set one, but really proud of our team, which stayed steady and secured our ticket to Paris.”

The World-Herald Huskers also announced their achievement on X.

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