Valentina Diouf has very much been the face of Italian women's volleyball in recent years
The Italian Media
are describing it as a bombshell
, the decision by women’s volleyball coach Marco Bonitta to leave Valentina Diouf out of the squad of 14 to contest this week’s Olympic qualifiers in Tokyo.
In what is being described as a ‘technical choice’, coach Bonitta has preferred the more experienced Nadia Centoni and the in-form Serena Ortolani over the 23-year-old who has caught the imagination of the Italian public in recent years.
Italy is one of eight times vying for four positions on offer in Rio, with at least one of those places reserved for the highest ranked Asian team.
Italy has been to every Olympics since Sydney 2000, and has finished fifth at the past three Games.
The team currently has a world ranking of seven, and plays Korea, who is hoping to qualify for an 11th Olympics, on Saturday.