Successful draw inspires confidence
Belarus’ national volleyball team is through to the European Championship for the first time and has been lucky in its grouping. Italy is an Olympic bronze holder but Denmark is a more modest rival, as are the European mid-ranked teams of Belgium and Greece
By Kirill Karin
The draw took place at the largest arena of the 2013 European Championship: Copenhagen’s roofed Parken football stadium is to host the semi-finals and the final matches for the main title and bronze. The ceremony lasted just a few minutes, with teams drawn by old friend, smiling Belgian Willy Bruninx — the secretary of the European Volleyball Confederation’s Commission (who last oversaw the 2010 Men’s Junior European Championship draw — hosted by Mogilev and Bobruisk).
Our Belarusian volleyballers’ opponents are much as expected (13 out of 16 were chosen some time ago). Among them are the hosts, the Poles and Dutch, and the five top 2011 European Championship teams (discounting Poland): Serbia, Italy, Russia, Slovakia and Bulgaria. Others will comprise the winners of a second round: Holland, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany and France. Other places will be decided next spring-summer, following the results of play off matches. Croatia will play Slovenia, while Greece will meet Belgium and Turkey is to battle Latvia.