Alison and Emanuel fully prepared for title defence
Alison and Emanuel will first step onto the sand of Stare Jablonki on Tuesday when their title defence from their World Championship triumph in Rome, Italy in 2011 begins.
Emanuel is the star of beach volleyball. His extensive resume includes three World Championship titles with three different partners and in three different decades. The first achievement came just in the second edition in 1999 in Marseille, France beside Loiola. He did it again with Ricardo in Los Angeles in 2003 before completing the trifecta with Alison, two years ago in Rome, Italy.
"When I look back through the World Championships, everyone of them is very special,” Emanuel said. “However I do have particular strong memories about winning in Los Angeles, the first ever World Championships in 1997 in Rio de Janeiro was of course very memorable and Rome because it is the last one. When I started in beach volleyball, way back many years ago, I had no idea how my life would be on the sand. Thankfully, the sport has always given me everything."
But his story is not over yet. There are new pages to be written in his long book, a real bestseller. At 40, Emanuel still believes in the potential of his combination with Alison, knowing that they can go even further. The dedication to training and career continues to impress and it is also powered by the challenge of another World Championship title.
"This World Championship is the ultimate goal of the year. Alison and I won two years ago and we know the value and the meaning of conquering it. We have played only three events of the World Tour this year and what we have seen is there was an increase in the pace of play. This is what drives us. We must call on our experience and teamwork to get up to speed and defend our title."
The three-time Olympic medallist (gold 2004, bronze 2008, silver in 2012) explained that defending a World Championship title is harder than winning one especially after an Olympic Games since team combinations tend to change. Only USA’s Kerri Walsh and Misty May have ever succeeded since 1997 having won the treble – 2003, 2005 and 2007.
"If a couple can stay on top, it is clear that all the others will want to beat them. Naturally, the sport is so. Alison and I have matured as a team during our three-year partnership, having won all possible titles - the only won missing is the Olympics - and we know our ability. We are experienced enough to know how to handle any situation.”
Alison also has a good experience when it comes to World Championships having reached the final on both occasions – winning in 2011 and runner-up in 2009 alongside Harley.
Alison and Emanuel’s title defence begins on Tuesday at 16:00 (local time) when they play Poland’s Jaroslaw Lech and Damian Wojtasik followed by Italy’s Matteo Cecchini and Paolo Ingrosso on Wednesday at 15:00 and Martins Plavins and Janis Peda from Latvia on Thursday at 09:45.
Emanuel’s World Championship history:
2011 - Rome (ITA)
1st - Alison / Emanuel
2009 - Stavanger (NOR)
5 - Ricardo / Emanuel
2007 - Gstaad (SUI)
4th - Ricardo / Emanuel
2005 - Berlin (ALE)
17 - Ricardo / Emanuel
2003 – Rio de Janeiro (BRA)
1 - Ricardo / Emanuel
2001 - Klagenfurt (AUT)
5 - Emanuel / Tande
1999 - Marseille (FRA)
1 - Emanuel / Loyola
1997 - Los Angeles (USA)
5 - Ze Marco / Emanuel