“For the first time, we ended the competition with a victory, which is phenomenal. This bronze shines like gold,” said one of the heroes of the duel, Dejan Vinčić, after Slovenia’s dramatic victory over France (3:2).
The 37-year-old passer arrived in Rome only on Friday after Gregor Ropret was injured in the semi-finals. “Vinko” was exceptional in the first two sets, but then fatigue began to affect him, as he had not been in a competitive drive for a long time. In the fifth set, he began to cramp, but he gritted his teeth. cunningly won the penultimate point of the match and won the bronze medal in one day.
“Came, saw, won, that’s what the Italians say. I’m very proud of the guys that we even put ourselves in a position where I could help. I’m glad that we held on, that we didn’t fall apart, that we stuck to the locker room agreement and the plan we set for ourselves. I’m so happy for these guys, they’ve been working hard all summer. It wasn’t the easiest for me to come yesterday, to quickly prepare for something like this, really an abnormal experience, but I’m very proud and happy that everything turned out the way it did,Vinčić said.
Selector Gheorghe Cretu he exploded with joy after the last point. “This is a special moment. We won the final, albeit narrowly, against the Olympic champions. That means a lot. They played with players, at least for the most part, who won the Olympic tournament, that’s really easy for us to be satisfied. They can turn the game around at any moment, they had to go beyond their limits. I have no words for the character the boys showed today,” said the 55-year-old Romanian, who will now try to bring Slovenians to the Olympic Games.
Jan Kozamernik he scored seven points. ” Phew, what a tight match. Honestly, it’s hard to wrap my mind around it. For the first time, we said goodbye to the tournament with a win, it’s a phenomenal feeling. We picked ourselves up from two sets down as if we were a different team. We entered the deciding set with energy, we were confident, we succeeded. We deserved it, we won for Gregor Ropret, for all of Slovenia, for everyone who came here to cheer us on. It all means a lot to us, thank you all,said Kozamernik.
Another blocker too Alen Pajenk he stopped at seven points. “It’s normal that it’s nice when you win a match, especially if it’s a medal, but it’s even nicer if you do it against the Olympic champions. I think we played at a top level. We knew they wouldn’t give up, they always know how to come back. But we gathered our strength in the decisive set, we did our best, we were aware that there would be no make-up exam. Luckily we won” said Pajenk.