Ngapeth is set for a rest after a busy start to 2016
Paris, France, June 8, 2016 – France’s star wing spiker Earvin Ngapeth has been rewarded for his efforts in helping his team qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games by being allowed to miss France’s opening weekend of the 2016 FIVB Volleyball World League.
Laurent Tillie’s side begin their defence of the World League in Sydney. They face Italy on Friday, the hosts on Saturday and finish against European rivals Belgium on Sunday, but while his teammates are in action the 25-year-old Ngapeth will be “sitting on the couch” and thinking of something other than volleyball for a fortnight.
“This break will be good for my head,” he said. “Finally I will have two weeks in which I won’t see volleyballs. I am glad that I can just have this little break, because due to FIVB rules, you cannot all have time off.
“I'll be sitting on the couch and going nowhere. I will probably watch the European football championships and spend some time with family and friends.”
It was a tough few weeks for France’s players, many of whom went from league action to playing in the FIVB World Olympic Qualifier in Tokyo. In Ngapeth’s case that meant helping club side Modena to a domestic league and cup treble in Italy.
However, they reached their primary aim by finishing third and so qualified along with FIVB world champions Poland, Iran and Canada and are now aiming for new targets having reached their first Olympic Games since Athens 2004.
“It has been a few days since qualifying and a few of us have come down a little,” Ngapeth said. “We achieved what we wanted, which was a ticket to Rio and we are ecstatic because it wasn’t easy, but we are going there with big aims.