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02/09/2019 17:19
Ukraine triumph at highly competitive “Chajka” Memorial Tournament
CEV EuroVolley 2019 Men

Skopje, North Macedonia, September 2, 2019. The long-lasting tradition continued, but instead of at its usual home in Tetovo, the 43rd edition of the traditional “Branko Hadzidzoski Chajka” Memorial Tournament this time took place in Skopje and was a good test for four quality teams ahead of the upcoming CEV EuroVolley 2019 Men. The audience at the “City Park” hall had the privilege of welcoming Belgium, Bulgaria and Ukraine, and at the same time, the fans could wish good luck to the Macedonian players, who will soon be making their maiden appearance on the continental stage.   

After four exciting matches, the best team in the tournament was Ukraine, who beat Belgium 3-1 in the final (25-22, 22-25, 25-20, 25-22). To the delight of the home audience, the Macedonian national team finished third after triumphing over Bulgaria 3-0 (25-23, 25-21, 25-19). Previously, in the semi-finals, Ukraine beat North Macedonia 3-1 (25-21, 25-20, 22-25, 25-20), and Belgium edged Bulgaria in four sets (18-25, 25-21, 25-15, 25-18).

Despite the fierce competition coming from the major stars of the other teams such as Tsvetan Sokolov from Bulgaria, Sam Deroo from Belgium and Nikola Gjorgiev from North Macedonia, the Ukrainian outside spiker Oleh Plotnytskyi received the MVP award and the prize for the best setter went to Gjorgi Gjorgiev from the home team.

The players of North Macedonia had the opportunity to play on home soil before making their first, historic EuroVolley appearance.

“This was a good tournament for us. Against Ukraine, we played better than in previous friendly matches with Sweden and Romania, and against Bulgaria, you have seen even more progress in our game. We still have to work on all the elements, but finally all of my players have recovered from their injuries and we have enough time to fix things. We are going with optimism to St. Pölten for friendly matches with Austria, and then to the European Championship pool phase in Ljubljana. We will play against Finland, Turkey, titleholders Russia, Belarus and Slovenia, but we must think positively,” said Macedonian coach Nikola Matijasevic.

Like all other coaches and players, he also counts down the days until the start of CEV EuroVolley 2019. For some, this particular event brings the pressure to achieve great goals, for others it is a great privilege to be in a prestigious company, but for all of them is sharing the same feeling - a sense of immense pleasure.  

For further information, visit the official event website

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