London, Great Britain, July 26, 2012 – The nightcap match between defending Olympic champions Brazil and world No. 8 Turkey is considered the main attraction of day one as the women’s volleyball tournament of 2012 London Games gets underway at Earls Court on Saturday.
The two squads have met only three times in official events with the South American side prevailing in each opportunity, the last one at this year’s FIVB World Grand Prix Finals in Ningbo, China by 3-1 score.
Players from both teams preferred to take a cautious side ahead of the contest scheduled to start at 10:00 p.m. (Local time).
“It is going to be a very difficult and complicated match against Turkey,” Brazilian libero Fabiana Oliveira said. “We know them very well and played against them in the last Grand Prix. We know how good they can be.”
Veteran middle blocker Fabiana Claudino, who is taking part in her third Olympic Games, praised the quality of all the teams competing in Pool B.
“They are all very strong,” Claudino said referring to China, Korea, Turkey, USA and Serbia. “It is a tough group.”
Turkey’s Bahar Toksoy pointed out the late starting time as a factor that could produce some effects in the performance of the teams.
“This is the first time I will have ever played a game so late,” she recalled. “I don’t know how it will be but I guess we will eat later (than usual) and prepare.”
The Turkish player paid respect to opponents Brazil and also mentioned the high quality of the teams in Pool B.
“It won’t be easy playing Brazil and we have a very tough group,” Toksoy commented. “But I think we can get through it and progress to the final.”
Brazil qualified to London as winners of the South American Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament by defeating Peru 3-0 in the Finals. On the other hand, Turkey reached their first ever Olympic chance by winning the European event with a 3-0 victory over Poland last May.
Both Oliveira and Toksoy praised the playing conditions in Earls Court and the atmosphere reigning in the London’s traditional venue.
“The beautiful atmosphere of the court here made us to train even better,” Kotsoy said. “I think we can get to a really high level.”
Everything here is just fantastic,” Oliveira expressed. “In Beijing the venues were huge, here it’s smaller but it looks really nice. Hopefully, it’s going to be a great Olympics.
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