Congo's Irene Mpeti, at 13 the youngest player at the 2019 FIVB Girls' U18 World Championship, gets ready to receive in front of team mate libero Benie Nlevo in Cairo.
Cairo, Egypt, September 7, 2019 - DR Congo's promising girl, Irene Mpeti Lelo is in the limelight at the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Girls' U18 World Championship - not only because of her performance with the team that is making their debut at a World Championship, but also because she is the youngest player amongst the 240 currently in action in Egypt.
Born on 29 November 2005, Irene comes from a volleyball family, but she never ever dreamt that she would play in a World Championship before even celebrating her 14th birthday.
"I'm happy to be in Cairo among the best players in the world at this age category," said Irene.
Irene Mpeti attacks against Peru's Thaisa Mc Leod and Lizanyela Lopez at the 2019 Girls' U18 World Championship in Egypt.
She started playing volleyball in 2013 quite by chance, when she went with with her aunt to attend a volleyball match. She instantly fell in love with the sport and immediately got started practicing volleyball.
Her grandmother, Micky Mpeti, a famous volleyball player in the Congo and a member of the Congolese national team, advised her to play volleyball and develop her talent for the sport. She was a huge supporter for her grand-daughter to start volleyball.
"Although I now study in school, my dreams are only with volleyball," said Irene. "I dream of becoming one of the most prominent players in the competition and I dream of one day playing professionally and make a living from the sport."
"It was the exceptional day in my life, when I was called by my coach Hamid Abdallaoui for the National Team to play in the World Championship. I was only 13 when I played my first international, but the World Championship here is another issue altogether."
"I promised my classmates in school to return to them in Congo with the best outcome."
Quick links - Volleyball:
FIVB Volleyball Girls' U18 World Championship