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06/12/2017 09:09
Focus on … Barthélémy Chinenyeze
2018 CEV Volleyball Champions League - Men

Toulouse, France, December 6, 2017. Barthélémy Chinenyeze is one of the rising stars in French Volleyball. The 19-year-old middle blocker played soccer before switching to Volleyball at the age of 13. Only six years later, he became a member of the French ‘senior’ national team – while as a child, he dreamed of becoming a doctor. On Wednesday night, he will play against the best team in the world – Zenit KAZAN – in one of five fixtures scheduled for the pool stage of the 2018 CEV Volleyball Champions League – Men.

Chinenyeze started his career in Wattignies before he joined the programme run by the French Federation at the National Volleyball Centre in Montpellier. He played his first professional season in 2016-2017, reaching the final of the national league with Spacer’s TOULOUSE VB. “It was a bit difficult at the beginning, but some players got injured and little by little I won the right to be there. To start as a professional, TOULOUSE was the right club at the right time because the coach put so much trust in me,” he says.

Not even a year into his professional career, he joined the ranks of the French national team. He played with other rising stars such as Stephen Boyer, Jean Patry and Daryl Bultor. “I didn’t think about getting into the French national team so early,” confides with a shy smile Barthélémy who wants to pursue his college education online.

At only 19, Chinenyeze has been one of real sensations of the last French national league and international season. He is now back with the Spacer’s TOULOUSE VB who have had a rough start to the season but the young middle blocker still wants to progress. “I’m only 19 and I learn every day,” he said.

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