After missing crucial matches at the European Championships, there is still a glimmer of hope that Brett Herbots will regain fitness in time for the Olympic Games qualifiers in Japan (September 16-24).
Wise thinking. The Yellow Tigers star has not yet recovered from the injury she suffered in her abdominal muscles. “The disappointment is very big,” she says. “But this is also the case when I had to cancel during the European Championships.”
“I already knew it would be difficult to get to Japan. Medical tests showed that I needed more time to recover for the Club Championship.”
“I always give my best for the national team, so it is very painful to have to cancel. But if your body is not ready, you have to listen. It would be crazy to take a big risk and make it worse.”
The Yellow Tigers will be vying for a ticket to the Olympic Games in Japan from next weekend. In a group that includes Brazil, Japan, Turkey, Bulgaria, Puerto Rico, Argentina and Peru, they must finish second to qualify for Paris 2024.
“It’s a very difficult task: even with me in the team, we definitely didn’t have an Olympic ticket,” says Herbots. “The task remains impossible: the Tigers must beat two of the top three teams – Turkey, Brazil and Japan – and then complete the other matches successfully. Let’s get started.”
“If we want to go to the Games, it has to be by classification,” Herbots said. “There are a lot of points to be gained in the Olympic qualifiers. So we have to play as best as we can and get as many points as possible.”
Will the Yellow Tigers succeed without Brett Herbuts? “They can make up for my absence,” she says. “They showed it in the European Championship: they are a team that never gives up.”
“It won’t be easy, but it wasn’t easy for me either. If everyone steps up their game, they can do it. I hope I have a good tournament.”
Herbots will not be located in Japan, and will remain in Italy to work on its rehabilitation. “But I will definitely follow him,” she concluded. “I would be the No. 1 supporter by a long way.”
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