FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Prague Open | 21 - 25 mai 2014

#PragueOpen


Press release

Germany’s Ludwig and Walkenhorst lead the field in Prague


Shanghai champions Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst lead the field in Prague

Prague, Czech Republic, May 19, 2014 – After a year of absence the FIVB Beach Volleyball Word Tour returns again to Prague, the beautiful capital of the Czech Republic. From May 21 – 25 more than 50 women’s teams from nearly 30 countries are competing for the FIVB Prague Open title.

Prague hosted four men’s only events before in 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012, but the 2014 edition will be a women’s only for the first time.

Leading the field are Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst. After two silvers and one bronze in their first year, the German team stormed into the new season with a gold medal at the Shanghai Grand Slam.

Other medal contenders in Prague are world champion Chen Xue and her young partner Xinji Xia. The Chinese will want more after two bronzes in Fuzhou and Puerto Vallarta. Their relatively unknown compatriots Fan Wang en Yuan Yue, who took the Shanghai silver by surprise, travelled with them to the Czech Republic.

Also competing in Prague are vice-world champions Karla Borger en Britta Büthe from Germany, entering their second tournament of the year after finishing 5th in Shanghai.

And last but not least Brazil’s Juliana Felisberta and Maria Antonelli. The two very successful veterans formed a new team this year, which already led to silver medals in Fuzhou and Puerto Vallarta.

Kolocova/Slukova


A team definitely set on pleasing the home crowd is Kristyna Kolocova/Marketa Slukova. The Czech girls finished 5th at the 2012 London Olympic Games, but never won a World Tour medal before.

"I am happy that finally we can play ‘at home’ for the first time”, said Slukova who in terms of prestige compared the home tournament in Prague to the Olympic tournament in London two years ago.

Their only event this year, the Shanghai Grand Slam, resulted in 9th place. "Our form in the first grand slam was a bit precarious”, Kolocova added, “but we tried to prepare better before the Prague tournament and we also believe that our Czech fans will come to cheer us on and will propel us forward."

Optimal conditions


The organizers of the Prague Open are doing their best to create optimal conditions for the players. "Courts are going to be prepared, 1,500 tons of sand already arrived to Stvanice and the weather for this week are great, so conditions should be optimal for the tournament", said technical director Vladimir Safarik at the pre-event press conference.

The Prague Open is the third Open on the 2014 calendar, but the first women’s only event. The beach courts and stadium are situated on Stvanice Island in the middle of the Vltava River.

Stvanice Island

Stvanice Island has been a place of sport for many years. At the end of 17th century a wooden arena was erected in which dog hunts at animals were held. Stvanice means hunt.

In the 1930’s a wooden stadium was built for ice-skating and hockey, it lasted till 2011 when it was demolished. The tennis arena, where the beach volleyball event is being held, was built in 1986 and consists of 9 outdoor, two indoor courts and a central court with a capacity of 8.000 seats. Each year an ATP and WTA tennis tournament is held there.

With a population of over 1.2 million, Prague has been the political, cultural, and economic centre of the Czech state for over 1,100 years. The city has been included on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites since 1992.
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