PRESS RELEASE 20.09.2003


Women's Senior European Championships 2003

ANKARA, ANTALYA, Turkey, 20 September - World Champion Italy, host Turkey and outsider Germany made a flying start on the opening day of the Women's European Championship here on Saturday. Germany booked a 3-0 victory over Slovakia, while Italy scored the same result against Czech Republic. Turkey Thrilled home crowds and defeated Romania in three straight sets.
Title defenders Russia however sacrificed one set against Serbia & Montenegro in their opener but finally clinched a 3-1 victory. Evguenia Artamonova was with 23 points the best scorer.
Serbian captain Mira Golubovic was delighted at her team's performance.
"First of all, it is a great achievement that we are playing in the final round after being absent for more than ten years," she stated. "It was nice to see that we could take a set against Russia.'
In earlier Saturday action, Germany were too strong for Slovakia in their Pool I clash in Ankara and cruised to a 3-0 (25-14, 25-15, 25-16) victory with their captain Angelina Grün top scoring with16 points.
'You cannot start an important event like this better than winning 3-0,' Grün said, adding that the team hoped to reach the final six and have the chance to make the Olympic qualifiers.
Host Turkey played a great match against Romania, a regular starter in the final round of the European Championship. Turkey nailed the opponent 3-0 and can look forward to a promising tournament.
In Pool II action, Poland booked a 3-2 victory over Netherlands. The Polish team won the first two sets and looked set to take the third however the Dutch salvaged four match points and the third set and went on to force the tiebreaker. But then their luck ran out and Poland wrapped up the decider 15-5. Polish attacker Malgorzata Glinka was the best scorer with 30 points.
World Champion and 2001 runner-up Italy had an easy evening in other Pool II action in Antalya. The Italian squad defeated Czech Republic in three straight sets. Ukraine, number four of the 2001 European Championship, defeated Bulgaria 3-1 in a re-match of the bronze medal match two years ago.
The Championship continues on Sunday 21 September in Ankara and Antalya. After the single round robin preliminary pool phase, the best two teams of each group will proceed to the semifinals. The third and fourth ranked teams will fight for the fifth till eight position. The semifinals and finals will be played in Ankara (Sept 27-28).
The top two teams also qualify for the World Cup in Japan in Novemberm the first Olympic qualifier.

Ankara - Pool I
GER - SVK 3-0 (25-14, 25-15, 25-16)
SCG - RUS 1-3 (13-25, 25-18, 17-25, 18-25)
ROM - TUR 0-3 (22-25, 20-25, 17-25)
Antalya - Pool II
POL - NED 3-2 (25-22, 25-19, 32-34, 23-25, 15-5)
UKR - BUL 3-1 (25-23, 25-19, 23-25, 25-19)
ITA - CZE 3-0 (25-18, 25-16, 25-22)

´ Match schedule Sunday 21 September 2003
: Ankara - Pool I
1400: SVK - RUS
1630: GER - ROM
1900: TUR - SCG
Antalya - Pool II
1400: UKR - POL
1630: BUL - CZE
1900: NED - ITA
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