Dodgeball team prepares to defend championship title on the world's stage
A Brooklyn dodgeball team is gearing up to defend their junior world champion title next month in Cairo, Egypt.
The reigning world champs will soon be back on the world stage representing team USA.
"Like, it's a children's sport, you know. You played in school, you get hit by a rubber ball, ouch. I'm out and that's it, but here, it's competitive," says team captain Emre Sengul.
Competitive may be an understatement as the athletes represent the best of the best not just from here in Brooklyn, but from across the world.
Their world champion sensei runs them through drills and teaches techniques so they can be ready for whatever is thrown their way.
"Dodgeball is all about catching, throwing, jumping, endurance, speed, power, strength, so you have to have everything to be able to survive in the game," says coach Meral Olmez, who is also the owner of Champions Sports Center.
Six athletes will take the court next month at the world cup in Cairo. Do they feel pressure? Sure, but for players like Lizi Tialatze, this is their release.
"I get to take my anger out when I throw the ball, you get to move around like you forget about everything and you just play dodgeball," Tialatze says.
The team won the title in 2018. After pandemic cancellations, these reigning champs are ready to keep rolling.
"It's already like unbelievable that we won the first one and now that we're like going to Egypt for the second world cup. It blows my mind," says player Karan Cabuk.
The team will travel to Cairo for the world cup from Dec. 12 to the 18 and they are excited to bring home another medal.