World Champions enjoy triumphal welcome following arrival in Belgrade

Belgrade, Serbia, October 22, 2018. The senior women’s National Team of Serbia landed last night at Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla airport, where numerous fans, family members, media representatives and Volleyball Federation of Serbia officials came together to greet the newly crowned World Champions.

Immediately before they presented themselves in front of the crowd, Mr Bozidar Maljkovic, President of the Serbian Olympic Committee, together with Mr Zarko Zecevic, NOC Vice-President, met with the players and the staff and congratulated them on this historic achievement.

After that, Prof Dr Veroljub Dugalic, Vice-President of the Volleyball Federation of Serbia (VFS), Mr Milutin Popovic, President of the Volleyball Federation of Republika Srpska, Dr Bogdan Sretenovic, President of the Association of Volleyball Coaches of Serbia, Member of the Executive Board and VFS Sports Director, as well as Mr Dragutin Cuk, VFS Technical Director, gave away the specially arranged bouquets of flowers to the 2018 World Champions.

“Of course, immediately after the match you do not know where you are, you have a lot of mixed feelings, and you cannot grasp the meaning of your achievement. Certainly, this is a historic result and it will last forever. Look, two years ago we were thinking about the Olympic medal in terms of trophies that we were still missing, at the time. Now, everybody is talking about the Olympic gold, as the only medal we have not won yet. It is good, since it means that we are progressing. I say to my players, it is good to be on top, but after a while, you start thinking what is next. Now it is the time to enjoy, but soon we will have to sit and talk about our future motivation. I am sure that this generation of players has a lot more to show and achieve in the Volleyball world,” said Zoran Terzic, head coach of Serbia.

“The semi-final match against the Netherlands was the hardest match in my career, and I have said that already, with lots of ups and downs, and nerves involved. The final was to enjoy, but overall, the whole tournament was stressing, we were a whole month in Japan, changing cities, adjusting every couple of days, and this gold medal is the result of very serious and hard work. Now we established ourselves as one of the greatest teams in Volleyball, and this is something precious, especially for me, as I was the only one in Japan in 2006, when we took the bronze medal at the World Championship and presented ourselves to the whole planet as one of the future Volleyball prospects. Twelve years later, we conquered almost everything there is to conquer. It is truly amazing. Now, we are aiming for the Olympic Gold, and I do not see any reason why each and every one of us would not want to try to make this dream come true,” said Maja Ognjenovic, team captain of Serbia.

After their arrival at the airport, the newly crowned World Champions moved to Hotel M in Belgrade. Mr Zoran Gajic, President of the Volleyball Federation of Serbia, together with Mr Ivan Knezevic, Secretary General, and Mr Bojan Kekic, President of the Executive Board of Banka Poštanska štedionica (Postal Savings Bank) - general sponsor of the Volleyball Federation of Serbia, hosted a party for the gold medallists of Japan 2018. Many employees of the hotel as well as relatives and friends of the players attended the event too.

It all started with inevitable trumpet band orchestras, and finished with a specially designed cake with the inscription “Champions”, cut by the players themselves.