Volleyball world in shock after the death of Italian super talent after falling out of a window: “We especially lose a great 18-year-old girl”

© ZUMA Press

Dramatic news from volleyball. Italian top talent Julia Ituma has died at the age of just 18 after falling from a hotel window in Turkey.

Vincent Van GenechtenBron: The Sports Gazette

Ituma played the semi-final of the Champions League against Eczacibasi there on Wednesday evening with her team Igor Gorgonzola Novara. A match that the Italian top club lost 3-0. The 18-year-old Ituma – called ‘the next big thing’ of Italian volleyball after gold at the European Championship for U19 and silver at the World Cup for the U18 – scored two points.

Last night, her body was found on the streets of Istanbul, where she was staying on the sixth floor of a hotel with her teammate Julia Varela. Little is known about the circumstances at the moment, an investigation is ongoing. Varela would not have heard anything and would have just woken up from the sirens.

“It is with deep pain and great emotion that we have to report the untimely death of Italian volleyball player Julia Ituma,” said Novara. “This tragedy is believed to have happened in the early hours of Thursday. The exact circumstances of the incident are being investigated by the Turkish police. We would like to explicitly express our condolences to Julia’s family and loved ones. The club and all its members, heartbroken by the loss, will maintain a respectful silence on the matter pending the outcome of the investigation.”

In Turkey people speak of suicide. According to the Italian news agency ANSA, citing sources within the club and the Italian federation, Ituma fell from a window of the hotel.

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A minute of silence will be held for all volleyball matches in Italy this weekend.

“We are all appalled by this tragedy that affects not only the volleyball world, but the whole of Italian sport,” said Giuseppe Manfredi, president of the association. “Today we mourn the loss, not only of a great talent, but especially of an amazing 18-year-old girl who we have seen growing up close season after season at Club Italia. My first thought goes to Julia’s family, to whom I offer my deepest condolences and guarantee that the Italian Volleyball Federation will provide maximum support.”

Anyone who has questions about suicide or needs a conversation can contact the Suicide Line via the free number 1813 or at www.zelfmoord1813.be.

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