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Bulgaria's Malinova misses Continental Cup
One of Bulgaria’s most decorated female beach volleyball players - Diana Malinova - will miss the first round of the 2014-2016 CEV Beach Volleyball Continental Cup, which marks the start of Europe’s qualification campaign for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016. Bulgaria hosts the battles in Pool G this coming weekend in Kardzhali.
Malinova, who is the reigning national champion and former Balkan champion, sustained a shoulder injury which caused her and her partner Rusena Slancheva to withdraw during the Final Four matches of the last National Beach Volleyball Tour event in Kazanlak two weeks ago. It is still not very clear for how long Malinova will be out, but it is even possible that she will miss the entire summer beach volleyball season as well as part of the next indoor season with her team Maritza Plovdiv, of which the experienced player is the captain.
For the upcoming matches in Pool G, where Bulgaria is in the company of Albania, Finland and Serbia, Malinova will be replaced by Irena Mishonova, who will partner Rusena Slancheva.
"I feel strong pain in my shoulder, which does not allow me to take part in this important tournament," Malinova explained. "I hope to recover and return to the court as fast as possible. I wish the girls the best of luck in this competition. I really hope to be part of the national team again soon…"
The other duo on the Bulgarian national team will be Asya Dinova / Svetla Angelova, who have won both tournaments of the 2014 National Tour to date, in addition to climbing onto the top podium spot at the BVA Championship event in Skopje last summer.
The Continental Cup matches will take place from June 21-22 at the renovated beach volleyball courts at the Arpezos sports complex in Kardzhali.