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Sinjin Smith: Beach volleyball undergoing a changing of the guard

Will Emanuel (right) and Alison's experience be enough for them to retain their world title?

Lausanne, Switzerland, June 28, 2013 – On the eve of the ninth FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships (in its current format), beach volleyball legend Sinjin Smith sat down with FIVB.org to shares his thoughts ahead of events in Poland.

“The FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships are much like the Olympics in that the more experienced players with a history of success know what it takes to prepare for them. They will hope to be able to dig deep into their experience at the right time to bring home victory.”

“We know who the experienced teams are and we will expect great things from them; teams such as Brazil’s Emanuel Rego and Alison Cerutti and USA’s Phil Dalhausser and Sean Rosenthal.”

“That said as we get close to crowning the 2013 Men's World Champions, it does strike me that the sport is undergoing a changing of the guard.”

“We have new young teams with less experience but youth, desire and something to prove. The young teams showed us they were on the move at the London 2012 Olympic Games and have carried that form on in this year’s FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour.”

“Italy’s Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo caught everyone’s attention when they ended Dalhausser and Todd Roger’s reign as Olympic champions, while Janis Smedins was one of three Latvian medallists at London 2012. He has brought that form with him into his new partnership with Aleksandrs Samoilovs and they already have one gold and two silvers to their names.”    

“New combinations are always scary especially when they show you they can win right away. Look out for USA’s Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson and Brazil’s Pedro Salgado and Bruno Oscar Schmidt as both teams have already enjoyed success this year and they will definitely be hungry for more.”

“Local favourites Grzegorz Fijalek and Mariusz Prudel will also be an interesting team to watch to see if home court advantage and the crowd behind them will make the difference or whether it put extra pressure on them and keep them from playing the way they can when at their best.”

“The reason why no one team will dominate this year is because the field of athletes is so strong that as many as 10 teams can win and many more can beat those winners. This makes for a very exciting year ahead of us and all eyes will be on the FIVB World Championships to see if youth beats experience.”

Sinjin Smith is a beach volleyball Olympian and world-champion, dominating men's beach volleyball from the late 1980s to the early 1990s with partner Randy Stokles, as the "kings of the beach." Smith is a member of the International Volleyball Hall of Fame (2003) and the California Beach Volleyball Hall of Fame (2002). He was instrumental in developing the World Tour in the beginning of FIVB beach volleyball and developing beach volleyball as an Olympic sport while serving as president of the FIVB World Council. Smith also was instrumental in developing Olympic programs and guidelines for organizers, as well as developing professional beach volleyball in the USA, including getting it aired on TV. Since retirement, Smith has worked to develop youth, collegiate, amateur and beach volleyball is the USA. He continues to serve on the FIVB Beach Volleyball Commission, to oversee the World Tour and Olympic Program. His efforts helped the World Tour return to the USA in 2013, with the Long Beach Grand Slam, to be held July 22-27, 2013. 

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