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Main draw of the FIVB U21 World Championships on its way

A view on the outside courts of the Finikoudes beach in Larnaka

Larnaka, Cyprus, July 24, 2014 - The first two rounds of pool play at the FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Championships in Larnaka on Thursday brought forth a major upset in the women’s competition. Last year’s U21 champions Kociolek and Gruszscynska from Poland lost their opening match to German qualifiers Glenzke and Schreiber.


In the men’s competition Agathokleous and Rudenko booked the only win of the day for the Cypriot teams. To the delight of the home crowd they defeated Nigeria’s Godwin and Shekarau 2-0 on centre court.


Key points

·       A total of 36 teams per gender are competing in the U21 main draw, playing round robin in 6 pools of 6. Only the top 4 in each pool qualifies for the elimination phase.

·       Cyprus has two teams competing in the women’s main draw and two in the men’s.

·       Matches in Larnaka start at 8.00 every day, with the last match is scheduled for 21.30.

·       The centre court stadium on Finikoudes beach seats 1,500.

·       Quite a few former beach volleyball stars travelled to Larnaka to coach: José Geraldo Loiola, Carlos Frederico ‘Alemao’ Galetti, Jorge Barros de Araujo, Raul Mesa, Jenny Johnson Jordan and Andrea Raffaelli.


Pressure gets to U21 title defenders Kociolek/Gruszczynska

Everybody expects Poland’s Katarzyna Kociolek and Jagoda Gruszscynska to win another gold medal at the FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Championships. All this pressure got to them as they lost their opening match on Thursday in Larnaka.

The 19-year old Polish girls were defeated 2-0 (21-17, 21-17) by German qualifiers Nadja Glenzke and Lara Schreiber in the early morning. “There is a lot of pressure”, said Kociolek. “Everyone tells us: oh, you won last year, so you will also win this year.” Read more


Brazil’s Andre and Vinicius take lead in tough pool at U21 World Championships

Brazil’s Andre Loyola Stein and Vinicius Rezende Costa Freitas put their mark down with two straight wins on the first day of main draw at the FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Championships in Larnaka.

The two 19-year olds defeated Mexico’s Jurado/Cardenas 2-0 (24-22, 21-18) in the morning, and booked another 2-0 (21-11, 21-15) win over American qualifiers Hagen Smith/Orenic in one of the strongest men’s pools in Larnaka. Read more


Paraguay’s Michelle: from shy World Champ debutant to leader in the field

In 2013 a very shy and timid Michelle Valiente Amarilla made her debut at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Poland at the age of 15. Now, one year later at the U21 World Championships in Larnaka, the Paraguayan girl transformed into a fearless leader in the field with a vast array of shots.

Back then in Poland Michelle and her 29-year old partner were the first team to represent Paraguay at a World Championship, they finished 37th eventually. After the big event in Stare Jablonki Michelle started training with her own age group. Read more


Another two rounds of pool play are scheduled for Friday, starting at 8.00 with the last match scheduled at 21.30. The last round will be played on Saturday morning, followed by the first elimination round. The second round, quarterfinals, semifinals and medal matches for both genders are played on Sunday.


Larnaka is hosting an age group event for the second time. Two years ago the Cypriot holiday resort organized the FIVB U19 World Championships. Last year the U21 were hosted by Porto. Porto will be the fourth and final stop on the FIVB age group calendar this year with the U19 World Championships running from July 29 till August 3.

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