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16/06/2015 14:42
Spanish Volleyball queen Amaranta Fernandez recounts transition to the beach and discovery of a new world
2015 European Games

Baku, Azerbaijan, June 16, 2015. Spain’s Amaranta Fernandez Navarro decided only two years ago she would switch from ‘indoor’ to Beach Volleyball and at that time she could not imagine that this choice would open up a totally different world to her. She actually is one of Spain’s most successful Volleyball players of all times and she captained her national team at the European Championship back in 2009 when the Spaniards made the playoffs and achieved their best result in the competition to this date.  

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Together with Ester Ribera she composes one of two Spanish duos competing at the Baku 2015 European Games and even though the start of their campaign on Tuesday morning – they lost in two sets to Finland’s Riikka Lehtonen and Taru Lahti – was a difficult one, Fernandez still has a nice story to tell.

“I had almost decided to retire from competitive sport since I was tired of everything,” she says recalling her transition to Beach Volleyball from two years ago. “I had just resumed studying and enrolled for a bachelor in art and photography at the University of Turin in Italy when Ester Ribera asked me if I was ready to join her for a full-time challenge on the beach. And I ended up accepting her request and decided to give it a try.”

The 2014 season was some kind of a trial year and the two partners felt like they had developed a good chemistry and had the potential to achieve something. They also won a silver medal at the CEV Satellite in Vaduz where – curiously – they lost in the final match to the same opponent they played on Tuesday morning in Baku, Lehtonen and Lahti.

“I need to feel more comfortable on the sand as I still think and move as if I was playing indoors,” Fernandez admits. “I also need to get rid of the feelings and all the tension that comes with that. However, I have started enjoying every single moment of our actions and I am very focussed and willing to improve on the different skills that are required to play Beach Volleyball at a competitive level. It’s a completely new world and I have a lot of things to learn, especially from a technical standpoint. However, I already feel like playing on sand is much nicer than indoors, at least for my body as physically I do not suffer as much as I did before.”

Coming to Baku and participating in the Games is an experience of its own: “I just love it! I have been to the Universiade before but this is just amazing, I mean the environment where we play and the village! I enjoy every single moment of this experience and the Opening Ceremony was just outstanding, the experience of a lifetime,” Fernandez adds.

Though they clearly lost to Lahti/Lehtonen on Tuesday morning, she remains cool and confident: “We just have to move on and forget this loss. They gave us a hard time and if you can’t control the ball, it becomes very difficult even to score a point. It goes as simple as that.”

News nr. 6760 of 19865
16/06/2015 15:08:00
Spain’s Lobato/Soria first team through to elimination round at European Games
16/06/2015 12:14:00
All the way from French Polynesia to Baku 2015 – Toafa Takaniko
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