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FIVB BEACH VOLLEYBALL NEWS

“Experience, technique and solid team play - still viable in the long run” - Pires

 
Beach volleyball legends Emanuel Rego and Alison Cerruti are working hard to defend their World Championship title

Lausanne, Switzerland, July 4, 2013 – The much awaited Beach Volleyball World Championships are currently in progress and former Brazilian legend of the sport, Sandra Pires provides her views on the action so far.

“It has been a fantastic start to the World Championships and even the weather, which has been temperamental at times, has not dampened the tournament’s spirit and atmosphere. And the sporting action just gets better and better with some of the more unexpected pairings challenging the established hierarchy on the sands.

“Latvia’s Janis Smedins and Aleksandrs Samoliovs have really come into their own since the start of the season and they look set to top their pool in the competition. It could not have been easy for Smedins to play a match against his brother or Samoliovs to see his former partner on the other side of the net. But they kept their focus and cohesion, two qualities which have allowed them to blaze ahead of the competition this season even though they have only playing together since the beginning of this year.

“They have taken gold at the Corrientes Grand Slam, bronze at the World Cup and then silver at The Hague and Rome Grand Slams and I will not be surprised to see them on the podium in Mazury in a few days’ time.

“Another new pairing that has achieved a remarkably high level of success this year is Brazil’s Taiana de Souza Lima and Talita Antunes da Rocha. They will face some stiff competition in the elimination round of the World Championships from Germany’s Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst, but having won gold at the Shanghai, Hague and Rome Grand Slams I think they know what they need to do to pull another victory out of the hat.  They have superb technique and team play and they know how to keep their calm, motivate each other and work with the other’s strengths when it matters most.

“It is good to see that the more experienced pairs of the Championship are showing no signs of backing down in the face of increased competition. If anything, it seems to have steeled their resolve to continue winning and performing at the highest level possible.

“Brazil’s Alison Cerruti and Emmuel Rego are not giving the competition an easy time and are determined to defend their World Championship title. They have had a rough start to the season, missing out on the opening events of the year on account of Alison’s finger injury. But they have sent a clear signal that they can still cut a swath through the competition by taking gold in the World Cup Final. If they have taught the young generation of players anything it is that stamina and physical power is important, but experience, technique and solid team play are still viable in the long run.

“And other members of the old guard like USA’s Phil Dalhausser and Sean Rosenthal are also well placed to make it to the final stages of the competition. I do hope that Pedro Solberg and Bruno Schimdt will be able to add to their already impressive medal count from this season.

“It is difficult to identify a clear leader in these Championships. With so many quality teams on the sands this year our only assurance is that the competition will get more demanding as it does not appear to be stifling the talent of individual players but encouraging them to give their best. All players will be required to use their every reserve if they want to get to the podium. May the best team win.”

Sandra Pires is a three-time Olympian from Brazil. She won gold with Jackie Silva at the 1996 Games in Atlanta – the first year beach volleyball was introduced as a medal sport – bronze with Adriana Samuel in 2000 in Sydney and fifth place in Athens with Ana Paula Connelly. As a commentator for Globo Sport TV, Sandra has covered the London 2012 Games and the 2012 Brazilian national tour.

Other FIVB blog posts:

Sara Goller: Goller backs Chen Xue and Zhang Xi for World Champs gold
Sinjin Smith: Sinjin Smith: Beach Volleyball undergoing a changing of the guard
Nikola Grbic: “Serbia will play even better in the coming weeks” – Grbic
Gustavo Endres: Brazil on track to win World League title – Gustavo
Tom Hoff: “If there’s anyone who can do it, it’s John Speraw” - Hoff
Andrea Zorzi: Teams must 'give their all at every opportunity’ says Zorzi
Martin Laciga: ‘It was a result which I for one was not expecting to see’ – Martin Laciga
Natalie Cook: Bring on the World Cup – Nat Cook
Sinjin Smith: Sinjin Smith: 'There’s a lot of excitement this season'
Andrea Zorzi: Russia capable of dominating the volleyball world over the next few years
Tom Hoff: Change is difficult, but also necessary
Andrea Zorzi: Italy, Poland, Russia & Brazil picks for World League – Zorzi
Martin Laciga: Expect a Fuzhou-repeat in Shanghai
Natalie Cook: Natalie Cook pleased with “A great start to the new season”
Sandra Pires: “2013 can be anyone’s year” says Sandra Pires
Virna Dias: Virna predicts another great year for Olympic champs Brazil
Andrea Zorzi: Andrea Zorzi looks forward to this year’s World League action
Stacy Sykora: Women’s volleyball looking forward to bumper year
Natalie Cook: Keep an eye on the Chinese in 2013
Hugh McCutcheon: Feeling good about US women’s coach
Martin Laciga: It's time to pass the ball to younger players
Tom Hoff: This is volleyball, and anything can happen



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