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Boskovic: “I hope the best is yet to come”

 
Lausanne, Switzerland, February 27, 2018 - Tijana Boskovic won silver with Serbia at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and gold with her club Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul at the FIVB Volleyball Women's Club World Championship later in the same year. In 2017, the phenomenal opposite went on to claim glory at the European Championship, where she was also voted the tournament's MVP.

In an exclusive interview with the FIVB, Boskovic looks ahead to the highlights of this year's international season, including the FIVB Volleyball Nations League and the FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship in Japan.

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How important is the new Volleyball Nations League for you and your team this year?
Tijana Boskovic: I am happy that I will have an opportunity to play in the Volleyball Nations League with my national team. It will be a new experience for all of us. I hope it will be like all other competitions, interesting and that volleyball fans all over the world will support us.

What do you think about the new format of the Volleyball Nations League?
Boskovic: I think that the system of the Volleyball Nations League is very interesting, because everyone will play against everyone. I am pretty sure that this will be a great experience and I am happy I will have a chance to be a part of it.

What are your goals for the competition? Which teams will be your biggest opponents?
Boskovic: There will be a lot of games to play, a lot of strong and great opponents, and we will go step by step. Honestly, I don't like to speak too much about our goals before the competition starts.



How important is the Volleyball Nations League as preparation for the Women's World Championship?

Boskovic: It is great to have one strong competition like the Volleyball Nations League right before the World Championship. It will help us to prepare for the most important competition this year. Throughout the Volleyball Nations League we will be able to get to know our opponents better and it will help us to improve as a team.

What are your goals for the World Championship?
Boskovic: The World Championship is this year’s most important competition. I am very happy that I will have an opportunity to compete in one of the best championships for the second time. As I already said, I do not like to talk about our ambitions too early, because the championship is in October. I know that my team, the Serbian national team, is one of the strongest national teams in the world, and we will continue to give our best as we have done up to now.

What could volleyball make even more interesting for players and fans in the future?
Boskovic: I am glad that volleyball is growing every day and that it is supported by a very large number of people. In the last few years this sport has become one of the most popular sports in the world. I, as a player, can say that I will do my best to represent the sport of volleyball in the best way possible.

Which of your successes so far do you rate as the biggest?
Boskovic: Although I am only at the beginning of my volleyball career, I can say that I have succeeded many times and accomplished a lot with my national team and my club team, which I am very proud of. For example, with the national team, two medals and unforgettable experiences I would like to single out are: the silver medal from the 2016 Olympic Games, and the gold medal from the 2017 European Championship. As an Eczacibasi player, the biggest accomplishment and a very special moment for me was when we won the World Club Championship in 2016. I hope that this is just the beginning and that the best is yet to come.

Which dreams and goals do you have as a volleyball player? How long do you want to play? What are the most important titles you want to win?
Boskovic: Volleyball is a sport which I chose to play as a little kid. I am happy that love and passion for this sport are still in me. There is still a lot of room for improvement. I hope that my career will continue to grow and that I will play volleyball for many more years, or until I am no longer happy when I step onto the court. I will be honest and say that for me the biggest wish is to get a medal from the World Championship, which I still do not have in my collection.

What has made the Serbian national team so successful in recent years? Are you now as prominent as the men’s team in your home country?
Boskovic: Serbia's women's national volleyball team has been very successful for many years now, which led to winning medals in almost all major volleyball championships. This means that our staff is doing a great job when it comes to practice planning, and I have to say that all the girls are very dedicated 100 per cent of the time. I think that in the last few years, a lot of people became very interested in volleyball and I am glad that this is the case.

Could you explain how you got involved in volleyball, why you did it, what it means to you?
Boskovic: My volleyball journey started when I was 9 or 10 years old. My older sister started going to volleyball practice, and I was curious, just like every little sister. I started going to her practices to watch her, but then I realized that I liked it, and I started practising. We had a lot of mini tournaments, for younger kids, and a lot of school tournaments. Every summer I went to volleyball camp, where I enjoyed meeting new people, and making new friends. That was when I realized how big my love for volleyball was, how volleyball makes me happy, and that I can learn a lot from it and use it in everyday life.

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