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Winning leads to "blessing" video

Esra Cetin (right) sets for Selin Yurtsever as the Turkish pair finished pool play with a 4-1 record after defeating a team from Tuvalu Friday morning.

Nanjing, China, August 22, 2014 - After a quick win against Tuvalu in 20 minutes, Esra Cetin of Turkey did not leave the main court of the Beach Volleyball venue in the Nanjing Sports Park Complex here Friday as she turned to the Chinese volunteers for help because she was creating a blessing video.

The reason why Certin wanted to produce a video was that her boyfriend’s birthday was coming, and she wanted to give Murat Giginoglu a surprise video after her match with partner Selin Yurtsever in the Nanjing 20143 Youth Olympic Games when the Turks defeated Loluama Eti and Valisi Salalia of Tuvalu 2-0 (21-5 and 21-4).

“It was our final pool play match and we advanced to the elimination phase of the competition as the second-place team in our pool,” said the 18-year old Cetin from Ankara.  “Making videos in Nanjing has been terrific.  There are lots of people here and with my participation in the Youth Olympics, it’s very meaningful.  I want to remember this experience forever.”

Cetin met Giginoglu two years ago when he came to watch an indoor Volleyball competition where she was participating.  “Murat is a good national Beach Volleyball player in Turkey,” shyly said Certin.  “It has been four months since we started dating each other.”

After opening with a forfeit Pool C win last Sunday, Certin and Yurtsever dropped a 2-1 (16-21, 21-18 and 15-7) decision in 50 minutes to eventual group winner Lia Fortunati and Maria Rotti of Uruguay Monday.  The Turks closed pool play with wins over Chinese Taipei, Saint Lucia and Tuvalu.

“The competition will now get harder,” said Turkish coach Carlos Galletti, who was a standout on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour in the mid-1990s for Brazil.  “We learned from our failure against Uruguay and corrected some of our mistakes.  We had our chance to win the pool, but Uruguay played better than us when it counted.”

Certin and Yurtsever come from athletic families.  Yurtserver’s father was a national indoor Volleyball player while Certin’s dad played on the Turkish national basketball team. 

“Although we have played indoor Volleyball for several years, we just started playing Beach Volleyball in the past year,” said Yurtsever, who will celebrate her 17th birthday this coming Thursday when the men play for the gold medal at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games.  “There are many differences between Volleyball and Beach Volleyball.  It takes time and we are grateful for our coach and his patience’s with us:

In training hard for the Youth Olympics after earning a spot via the European Continental Cup finale, Certin and Yurtsever said they will continue to work hard before taking time to visit the sights around Nanjing.  “We will get two days to tour Nanjing after the Games,” said Galletti.  “But now, we must focus on the elimination rounds where the very best teams will be competing for a medal.  I think Esra and Selin learned that being focused throughout each match is important.”


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