Add in the fact that the men’s Olympic champions – Julius Brink and
Jonas Reckermann – are German and that Victoria Bieneck and Isabell
Schneider won the inaugural FIVB U23 World Championships earlier
in the year and it doesn’t take too big a leap of the imagination to
picture Germans dominating the beach volleyball scene for the next
few years.
Of course that doesn’t mean that the traditional powerhouses didn’t
flex their muscles.
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.
Brazil were unable to repeat their result from Rome 2011 when
Juliana Felisberta and Larissa França won the women’s title and Alison
Cerutti and Emanuel Rego won the men’s. Even so their delegation
returned with medals in both the women’s and men’s competitions.
Liliane Maestrini and Barbara Seixas continued their development by
winning their second bronze medal in two tournaments, just under a
fortnight after they finished third at the Rome Grand Slam.
Ricardo Santos rolled back the years to become the most decorated
player in World Championships history with his fourth medal, but all
eyes were on Alvaro Filho, the player with whom he won silver.
The 22-year-old from João Pessoa may have not been able to end
his run of World Championships silvers (he has won two at the U21
level), but he impressed all with his athletic performances at the back
of the court and was duly rewarded with the ‘Most Valuable Player’
award.
Brazil’s traditional rivals, the USA failed to have a team on either the
men’s or women’s podium for the first time since the 2001 edition,
with April Ross and Whitney Pavlik’s fourth place their best result.
However, with their leading men’s teams Phil Dalhausser and Sean
Rosenthal along with Jacob Gibb and Casey Patterson having had
two more years of playing time together, they will be confident of
topping at least one podium in the next World Championships.
Add in the fact that April Ross and Kerri Walsh will also have been
playing together for the best part of two years by then and there is
the good possibility that the stars and the stripes will be flying over
centre court at The Hague in 2015.
Of course there will be a whole host of teams out to stop that
happening and as the 2013 World Championships quite emphatically
proved, it would be foolish to write anyone off.
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