Vakıfbank becomes world champion for 4th time
Turkish volleyball team Vakıfbank lifted the 2021 FIVB Women’s Club World Championship trophy in the capital Ankara on Dec. 19, becoming “the world’s best” for the fourth time.
In a thrilling final, Istanbul side Vakıfbank defeated Italy’s Imoco Volley 3-2 with the sets of 15-25, 25-22, 22-25 and 25-22.
The yellow-blacks previously won the Women’s Club World Championship in 2013, 2017 and 2018.
“I congratulate the athletes, the staff and the managers,” Turkish Sports and Youth Minister Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoğlu wrote on Twitter following the trophy ceremony that was held after the final match at the Ankara Arena.
“Our girls continue to make history. Turkish women showed once again that they do everything best,” Abdi Serdar Üstünsalih, the president of the club, said in an interview published at the club’s official site.
The International Volleyball Federation’s (FIVB) Women’s Club World Championship started in Ankara on Dec. 16.
Two teams from Turkey, Vakıfbank and Fenerbahçe, took part in the five-day tournament. Fenerbahçe Opet, Imoco Volley and Dentil Praia from Brazil competed in Group A, while VakıfBank, Altay from Kazakhstan and Minas from Brazil competed in Group B.
In the semi-finals on Dec. 18, Vakıfbank clashed with Fenerbahçe and beat the city rival 3-0, while Imoco Volley hammered Minas 3-1.
On Dec. 19, Fenerbahçe defeated Brazilian opponents 3-0 in the third-place match of the 2021 FIVB Women’s Club World Championship.
Fenerbahçe sealed the victory with the sets of 25-18, 25-7 and 28-26.
“I congratulate Vakıfbank that earned the trophy and Fenerbahçe that bagged the bronze medal,” the minister said.
“Both teams’ efforts are a source of happiness to us,” he noted. “We are also so happy to host such an organization.”
Vakıfbank’s 22-year-old Swedish player Isabelle Haak was selected as the “most valuable player [MVP] of the tournament.”
Teams from Turkey have won six titles, two second places and four third places in the Women’s Club World Championships held since 1991.
Eczacıbaşı follows Vakıfbank with two championships (2015 and 2016). Fenerbahçe won the trophy once in 2010.
The last champion was Imoco Volley in 2019.
Thanking the Ankara fans, Üstünsalih dedicated the championship “to the nation and the country.”
“We will continue to make our country proud,” added Üstünsalih in his interview after the historical success.