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Top teams thrive at U21 World Championships

Nina Betschart (photo) and her partner Nicole Eiholzer topped their pool on Friday

Larnaka, Cyprus, July 25, 2014 – Top teams in both the women’s and men’s competition of the FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Champions in Larnaka laid down early markers on the second day of main draw.


With one more round of pool matches to go on Saturday Switzerland’s Betschart/Eiholzer and USA’s Hughes/Claes already secured top position in their pool. Germany’s Wickler/Schneider, Poland’s Bryl/Kujawiak and Brazil’s Andre/Vinicius did the same in the men’s competition.


Key points

·       The FIVB U21 World Championships have been held every year since 2001, but this will change to every other year.

·       On Sunday a new U21 champion will be crowned in the men’s competition since last year’s winners Guto/Allison are not here to defend their title.

·       In the women’s competition Poland’s Kociolek/Gruszscynska still have a chance to win back-to-back U21 gold.


Lithuania and Russia on course to clash for top position in pool E

With four straight wins each Ieva Dumbauskaite and Monika Povilaityte from Lithuania and Russia’s Ksenia Dabizha and Anna Gorbunova will clash on Saturday for top position in pool E at the FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Championships in Larnaka.

Dumbauskaite and Povilaityte defeated Roman/Biver (21-12, 21-7) from Puerto Rico and Costa Rica’s Gonzalez/Arias (21-11, 21-8) on Friday. Their other two pool matches against Austria and St. Lucia on Thursday were easy wins too, so the Lithuanian girls have not been really tested yet. Read more


Germany’s Wickler on track for another age group medal

Reigning U19 world champion Clemens Wickler is on track for another medal, but this time on a higher level; the FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Championships. Although he is competing with a different partner and still has one pool match to go, the 19-year old German already secured first place in the pool on Friday.

Wickler and his new teammate Mirko Schneider booked two more wins on Friday to claim top position in pool F. They defeated France’s Thiercy/Di Giantommaso (21-10, 21-17) and Lithuania’s Rumsevicius/Kazdailis (23-25, 25-23, 15-12). Read more


Hagen Smith destined to play beach volleyball

Beach volleyball has always been his destiny, although Hagen Smith’s famous father Sinjin wanted him to play tennis. So this week 19-year old Hagen took the next step and made his FIVB debut at the U21 World Championships in Larnaka, Cyprus.

Christopher St. John ‘Sinjin’ played in more beach volleyball events than any other player. He finished 5th at the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996, won two World Championships, ten FIVB events and was crowned FIVB World Tour champion four times. He named his oldest son Hagen after his first partner, Ron van Hagen. Read more


Egypt only lacks one out of three S’s to make beach volleyball work’

Egypt only lacks one out of the three S’s to make beach volleyball work, says Egypt U21 coach and former player Ahmed Atta. “We have Sun, Sea, but unfortunately not the Sponsors yet.”

The 36-year old Atta competed at the Chennai Challenger and The Hague Open in 2010 and still plays on the national tour, but is also coach of all the national teams in Egypt. This week he coaches Mohamed Abdelhady and Mohamed Sayedin at the FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Championships in Cyprus. Read more


The final round of pool play will start at 8.00 on Saturday, followed by the first and second elimination round. The quarterfinals, semifinals and medal matches for both genders are scheduled for Sunday. All days will feature evening matches.


Larnaka, the third largest city on Cyprus behind Nicosia and Limassol, is hosting a FIVB age group event for the second time. Two years ago the U19 World Championships were held in the Cypriot tourist resort.


The U21 World Championships are the third of four FIVB age group events this year. Next week Porto will host the U19 World Championships.



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