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29.05.2016, 19:53
Belarus between physicality and psychology
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NEWS REPORT: Right back Karyna Yezhykava hopes that high morale and good form may help Belarus to qualify for the Women's EHF EURO 2016
 

Belarus between physicality and psychology

For Belarus, qualifying for the Women's EHF EURO 2016 is definitely a challenge. After four rounds have been played, the team has four points in Group 1, two less than Romania and Norway.

And in the two remaining games Belarus have to play against the two group leaders, first at home against Norway on 1 June, then thon 4 June away against Romania.

Right back Karyna Yezhykava, one of Belarus’ key players, thinks that the mission to qualify is still possible. “Of course our opponents are very strong. It is enough to say that Norway won the latest World Championship, while Romania finished third in that tournament. But we will work hard and try to do our best.”

“There is also a small chance to qualify from the third place, so we hope that maybe our team will be fortunate to use this opportunity.”

In Rounds 1 and 2 when Belarus played the respective first legs against Romania and Norway, they lost on both occasions. Yezhykava missed both games due to injury.

“I watched only the highlights, so I do not have any personal impressions. But I know that we certainly had a chance at home against Romania when we were leading by five goals. Too bad that we eventually lost (23:25),” said the 25-year-old.

A Russian champion

In March, Belarus improved their position in Group 1 by grabbing the maximum of points against Lithuania (21:29 / 38:35).

"In the away match we played pretty well, but we were sure that the best was yet to come. At home we tried hard to make our fans happy, but probably were too nervous or excited and did not show our full potential.”

The Belarusian team gathered on 27 May to start preparing for the two final qualifiers, and while Yezhykava regrets that there is not more time for preparation, she has still entered the camp in high spirits, having just become Russian champions with Astrakhanochka.

"It was so unexpected for many people that we still cannot believe that we did it,” she said.

Yezhykava thinks that mentality is a key factor that may also help her national team: "We should have a feeling that we are not whipping girls but decent opponents who are able to fight hard and show ourselves in a good light.

“So it is not only the physical shape but also the psychology that is likely to play a very important role at the moment.”


TEXT: Sergey Nikolaev / ts
 
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