The 2013 World Championships was a tournament that surpassed
expectations. It may not have finished in the way that most anticipated,
but a year on from when 45,000 spectators flocked to watch beach
volleyball each day at the London 2012 Olympic Games, the FIVB Beach
Volleyball World Championships showed that the sport is in rude health.
Surprise results were the order of the day, with new teams establishing
themselves in the upper echelons of the sport.
Chief among these were the men’s champions Alexander Brouwer
and Robert Meeuwsen, whose previous best result was a quarterfinal
finish at the Fuzhou Open earlier in the year.
They were joined on the podium by bronze medallists Jonathan Erdmann
and Kay Matysik, whose third place was their best ever result and adds
to what has already been a highly successful year for Germany.
Their female compatriots Karla Borger and Britta Büthe went one
better and won silver, their first ever FIVB medal. It capped an
incredible few weeks for the pair after they had achieved their
previous best with a fourth place finish at the Rome Grand Slam, a
tournament in which Borger was voted ‘Most Valuable Player’.
China, Germany and Brazil took to the podium in the women’s
China’s Chen Xue and Zhang Xi
finally got their hands on a major
title when they beat Germany’s
Borger and Büthe, though they
had taken a surprise defeat in the
pool stages by Finland’s Erika and
Emilia Nystrom to shock them
into their best form.