28. 05. 2013

Jelena Nikolic's return to court

Author: S. Stojmenovic

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After more than year and a half being of the court, because of an injury and giving birth, Serbian national team player Jelena Nikolic is close to start playing again. She shared her thoughts in this interview.


On October 2 2011. Jelena Nikolic, Serbian team captain, was holding and kissing the European Champion's trophy in front of a full Pionir hall. Since then, Jelena hasn't played for her national team for number of reasons. She had a heel injury, after that she was pregnant and got a baby boy named Aleksa. Recently she started playing volleyball again, and is working hard to get back to her old form.

"I tried to make a comeback last year, before the Olympic Games, but I couldn't. The pain in my heel was to strong, and I needed further treatment. Non-stop playing for the clubs and the national team finally caught up and I needed a break, which I got while I was pregnant, so it was at a right moment. The break felt good, I healed my injury, I got Aleksa, and now it is time for new challenges" Nikolic said with a wide smile.

The team is back together again, and its captain, the most experienced is taking the lead. Nikolic has been training for the last two months.

"I couldn't train for three months, because of the operation during my delivery. Then I started training under Vladimir Bankovic's supervision every day, sometimes even two times a day, and I am getting back in shape. I was also active during my pregnancy, I had yoga classes, did exercises, and everything else that helped me."

Jelena is on her new beginning. She knows it will be hard, but has goals which she wants to achieve.

"I want to get back in shape, to help my national team and my club. It was similar in 2011, the year we all gladly remember, when I operated my tendon and also had to train to get back my best form. It took a lot of effort, and I know what awaits me."

Serbia will play in the World Grand Prix, and after that try to defend the European champions title, which it won two years ago.

"I think I can compete with the other girls for a spot in the team. We will see if I will be prepared. I think it's more realistic that I get to a good shape for the European Championship than for the Grand Prix, but you never know."

She spoke to the coach Zoran Terzic, about their obligations.

"We always had a good relationship, we were open about everything. I have a good feeling, and there is no reason that this summer doesn't end well for our team" Jelena Nikolic concluded.

Next season in Vakifbank ISTANBUL

Although she hasn't played a single match this year, Jelena Nikolic knows where she will spend the next. Her contract with Vakifbank ISTANBUL will be "activated" and after this break, she will wear the number 12 jersey for the current European champion.

She will play alongside Jovana Brakocevic, her teammate from the Serbian national team.

Jelena says she is eager to play.

"It's what I do best and really enjoy it. For as long as it's the case, I will give my best. I can't wait to begin."

The national team preparations will star through testing, and the girls who are in good shape won't have to train until June 12.

"I won't take a break, that's for sure. I am not in that good of a shape after all that happened, so I will continue to train" Jelena smiled.

Read more volleyball Interviews.

Check out our After sport's career section, every Thursday a new story! Next time read about Lives and Times of Martina Navratilova.

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