Former world champ Baracetti expects US-Brazil medal chase
He was a keen viewer of the two opening tournaments of the 2013 Beach Volleyball season – the Fuzhou Open and Shanghai Grand Slam – which were won by two USA teams. Phil Dalhausser and his new partner Sean Rosenthal won in Fuzhou, while Rosenthal’s former partner Jacob Gibb and Casey Patterson claimed gold in Shanghai.
Reigning World Champions from Brazil, Alison Cerutti and Emanuel Rego missed the two tournaments as Alison had suffered a finger injury, but Baracetti expects the Olympic silver medallists to be on the podium again.
“I'm sure there will be some American and Brazilian teams leading the charts,” Baracetti said. “I'm going for Dalhausser and Rosenthal and Emanuel and Alison.
“The gold for Dalhausser and Rosenthal proves that they can be in top shape this season. The semifinal against Ricardo Santos and Alvaro Filho was amazing, very tight. Maybe that match had something to do with the Brazilians losing the bronze medal, but the pair from Austria (Robin Seidl and Alexander Huber) were also very interesting.”
Mariano Baracetti knows exactly what it takes to win having won gold at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Klagenfurt in 2001 with partner Martin Conde. The Argentine duo had only been together a matter of months when they surprised the field and defeated the much fancied Ricardo and Jose Loiola in the final that year.
Brazilian player Ricardo is still going strong at the age of 38 and he and his new partner Alvaro Filho won their first medal together with a bronze in Shanghai. However, they were denied another win in Fuzhou after losing to Austrian duo Seidl and Huber in the match for third place.
Baracetti feels there could be other pairs from Europe ready to challenge the traditional US-Brazilian dominance. “Of the European teams, I like the style of the Polish ones (Grzegorz Fijalek and Mariusz Prudel), if they keep the same pairing, and also the Spaniards (Adrian Gavira and Christian Garcia), if they don't suffer injuries.”
The Argentinean city of Corrientes makes its debut on the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour when it will host the Corrientes Grand Slam from May 22 to 26. Although this is the first time that Corrientes is on the World Tour circuit, the city of Mar del Plata has already hosted five men’s events while Buenos Aires held one women's event in 2005.