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Bulgarians build up Lions’ stamina high above sea level

Valentin Bratoev and Nikolay Nikolov take a selfie with the breathtaking view from the peak
Sofia, Bulgaria, August 11, 2018 – The Bulgarian men’s national team have returned from their three-week high-altitude training camp at the Belmeken National Sports Complex in the Rila mountain range, hoping that the challenges they had to face high above the sea level have helped them train their stamina and build up their character ahead of the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship they are co-hosting next month together with Italy.

Ready to go

The Lions’ time up in the mountain was highlighted by their difficult hike to the top of the legendary peak Zabcheto (“the toothlet”). Upon the top, the atmosphere was thin and the views were breathtaking, but the athletes filled up their lungs with fresh air, much needed for their upcoming quest to perform well in front of the home crowd in Varna in September and move forward to chase World Championship honours further in the competition.

On the way to the top

“We hope we’ll have enough air,” coach Plamen Konstantinov said. “I hope the boys will be in good health to give their best at this World Championship. They worked hard at Belmeken. Their Lions’ hearts will be vital, but so will the support of the Bulgarian fans. This is the strongest motivation for our team. I believe, together we will put on a great spectacle to be seen all over the world.”

Back at lake level

On Monday, August 13, the Bulgarians will resume their preparation at the Dvorets na kulturata i sporta (Palace of Culture and Sports) in the Black Sea coastal city of Varna, where they will host Finland, Iran, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Poland on September 9, 13, 14, 16 and 18, respectively, in the first stage of the World Championship.

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