Courtesy of Beach Volleyball World Champs – Media Service
World Champs promise to be biggest beach volleyball event ever.
The FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships Vienna 2017 presented by A1 will burst into action on Friday as Olympic and World Champions go head-to-head in what promises to be the biggest beach volleyball event ever.
Ninety-six teams from 40 different countries will descend on Vienna’s Danube Island for 10 days of unrelenting beach volleyball inside the imperial 10,000-seater Red Bull Beach Arena and compete for a share of a cool USD 1,000,000 in prize money.
Men’s 2016 Olympic champions Alison Cerutti and Oscar Bruno Schmidt from Brazil are also reigning world champions, having lifted the trophy two years ago in The Hague. The duo are chasing history: no men’s team has ever won back-to-back world titles. Alison and Bruno begin their defence of the gold medal against Mozambique’s Aldevino Nguvo and Justino Tovela on Saturday, July 29.
“We want to defend our crown and remain among the best,” said Cerutti. “It’s a great opportunity to be part of history. We have won a lot of tournaments during the last three years and our team feeds from these kinds of challenges. That’s how we work as a team. We’re really excited and motivated and looking forward to it.”
The 2016 women’s champions from the Copacabana, Germany’s Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst, have endured an injury-hit season so far, but they will be aiming to complete their collection of gold medals in Vienna. With Olympic, European and National titles behind them in 2016, World Championship gold is all that’s missing.
Eyes will also be on the four men’s and three women’s teams representing home nation Austria. The country has enjoyed a long love affair with beach volleyball and the Austrian teams will feature heavily on the Red Bull Beach Arena.
“It’s the biggest beach volleyball event ever and it’s in my hometown – words can’t describe it,” said the 36-year-old, whose first game is on the Red Bull Beach against Iranians Rahman Raoufi and Bahman Salemiinjehboroun on the opening day of the tournament at 4pm CET.
“We’ve prepared for this tournament for six months and now it’s finally here. We’ve practised on the Red Bull Beach Arena already and even with an empty stadium I’m getting goosebumps.”
The excitement on the sand will reach 100 countries around the world courtesy of over 500 accredited journalists, with 27 TV outlets broadcasting 1,234 hours of coverage.
The battle for the trophy begins on the two sides courts at 10am CET on Friday with the first match on the Red Bull Beach Arena at 12 noon as Brazilians Evandro Goncalves Oliveira Junior and Andre Loyola Stein take on Dutch wildcards Maarten van Garderen and 2015 silver medalist Christiaan Varenhorst.