World Transplant Games Volleyball
Ten teams took to the courts competing in the World Transplant Games Volleyball Tournament with Hungary taking the title in a humdinger of a final.
Hungary who received silver in the previous World Transplant Games in Sweden arrived at the University of KwaZulu Natal Westville campus with one mission in mind:, to claim gold and they did this in a nail-biting final where they met Argentina.
The game lasted three extremely tight sets with the eight points being the difference in the final results. Argentina who dethroned defending champions, the Netherlands in the semi-finals took the first set 25-20.
Hungary then replied in the second set going on top by just one point, taking it 25-24 and levelling the score at one set a-piece. The game continued in dramatic style in the third set as both teams continued to perform out of their socks in the final set. In a clincher of a third set, Hungary just got the edge on Argentina taking the set 16-14 and claiming a sweet victory.
The darling of the Hungarian team, Yvette Jasab,at 21 the youngest member of the team proudly said, “We won everything, it is a great feeling. We came second in Gothenburg in 2011 and came here to beat Netherlands. We knew the games would be tough but our opponent, Argentina made us work very hard for our gold.”
Defending champions, Netherlands who have dominated the last two Games were dramatically knocked out by Argentina in the semi-finals in a three set game. Netherlands who came second in the pool games faced first placed Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the third and fourth play-offs.
Photos by Val Adamson
In a replay of the pool games, Great Britain went down to the Netherlands, thus allowing the defending champions to walk away with a medal, albeit bronze.
Ace referee Sihle Gumede who has just returned from Congo having participated in an International Referee Course was impressed with the level of competition at the games, “They are not professional but they certainly are making up for it with their commitment and passion. You can see that they love what they are doing! The supporters were fantastic cheering their teams on. The event was well organised with all the teams arriving on time.”
Event organiser, Lawrence Naidoo was overjoyed by the success of the day, “It is not every day we host a major international event. It was something else watching all of these games here today! What a privilege it was to be entertained by these phenomenal role models who have taken their second chance in life and are able to be so active. It truly has been an excellent tournament.”
1 Hungary, 2 Argentina, 3 Netherlands, 4 Great Britain and Northern Ireland
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