Talita and Taiana good enough to become world champions - Pottharst
Stare Jablonki, Poland, June 30, 2013 - Olympic champion Kerri Pottharst picks a Brazil-USA double for the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships Mazury 2013 which start in Stare Jablonki on Monday. Here she gives her thoughts on who the contenders are.
Kerri Pottharst says Taiana adds a bit of spice to her partnership with Talita|
"It's exciting to see the beginning of another four years in the lead up to Rio 2016. There are so many new combinations of players, as well as a return of some successful, experience combinations. And, with the announcement that Kerri Walsh will be returning by the end of the season, after having her third baby (incredible!!) it should shake things up a bit.
"Seeing the results of the events played so far makes me think that the door is wide open for any team to step up and regularly see themselves in the top 10 or even the top four. This is definitely the time to do it, as so many teams are finding their rhythm in their new partnerships. The competition seems to be quite equal in both women's and men's.
"One of the big surprises this year has been the Aussie men’s team Kapa and McHugh. After dominating the Renault National Beach Volleyball tour in Australia this past summer, I think they have not only surprised me, but surprised a lot of other men's teams on the World Tour. They are now finally getting some excellent match experience against the top teams in the world. This is something that Australians have always struggled with as our depth of competition at home is not as strong as the US or Brazil. With this experience I expect to see them hit a top four finish by the end of this year.
"However favourites for Stare Jablonki have to be the Americans and Brazilians. I would have had my eye on Kessy and Ross to start finding their form again, but now with Kessy's injury that's all on stand by. It will be interesting to see how Ross plays with Pavlik in the World Champs. I would expect them to be fighting for a position in the top four and if they get there, then a medal is likely. It will all come down to how Pavlik handles the pressure of a World Champs with such an experienced partner. Ross's job will be more difficult as she will have to try to support her partner and keep her focused, while concentrating on her own game at the same time.
"Talita and Taiana seem to have drawn a winning combination, for the Brazilians. Talita is so focused and calm and Taiana seems to have easy adapted to her new partner and adds a bit of spice to her team! These two have a lot of room to grow. It's also great to see another mum, Carol Salgado, back on tour after having her first baby. These two will also continue to improve as now they have new priorities and play with a different energy.
"And finally, the Chinese pairing Zhang/Xue are back after a couple of events off. This season will be one of regrouping for this pair as they struggle to forget their disappointment at the London Games. I believe that as long as they stay together and look ahead, then they will most definitely be taking home more medals as the season progresses.
"On the men's side, quite obviously its Dalhausser and Rosenthal. What an incredibly talented new combination. Both arguably the best in their respective roles. If these two have strong leadership, healthy bodies and stay focused over the next 3 years, they will no doubt be unchallenged for gold in Rio.
My picks for the World Champs:
- Birarelli eyes successful Club World Championship comeback
- 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball Media Guide now available
- Tianjin, Taipei enjoy second win in Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship
- Top players on form for clubs ahead of World League
- Tsvetan Sokolov dreams of becoming Bulgaria's champion with Marek one day
- Venezuelans back in tandem for Fuzhou Open
- Favourites have field day at Asia Volleyball Women’s Club Championship
- Makowski announces Polish 22 player roster for the year ahead
- Thailand and Iraq claim gold at latest Asian Beach Volleyball Tour event
- VolleyWorld reflects on a truly Italian affair with the Women’s World Championship Drawing of Lots
- England looks forward to hosting CEV Continental Cup tournament
- "ThrowbackThursday" recognizes anniversary of FIVB Constitutional Congress
- Poland announces men’s national team roster for 2014 season
- Wallace boosts Sada Cruzeiro ahead of Club World Championship
- FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship wild cards go to Trentino and Al-Rayyan
- Kids Beach Festival praised as fantastic experience
- Matin Varamin claim Asian Club Championship title, ticket to FIVB Men's Club Championship
- Baic Motor claim third spot with win over Kondensat-Zhaikmunay at Asian Men’s Club Championhip
- Beach Volleyball Seminar sets scene for season ahead
- Chinese Taipei finish fifth, host place seventh at Asian Men’s Club Championship
- Sierra Leone men and Rwanda women top podium of African qualifiers for Youth Olympic Games
- Al-Rayyan, Matin Varamin in finals of Asian Club Championship for ticket to FIVB Men's Club Championship
- Alison and Bruno continue impressive form
- FIVB World Tour champs hitting top form
- Sada Cruzeiro take Superliga title on their way to Club World Championship in May
- Serbian Beach Volleyball duo to celebrate FIVB Grand Slam debut in Shanghai
- Chinese Taipei, Iraq's South Gas Club Sports to fight for fifth place of Asian Men’s Club Champs
- Organisers of Moscow Grand Slam unveil plans for a memorable 2014 edition
- Kovac looking forward to getting to grips with Iranian national team
- Kondensat-Zhaikmunay, Matin Varamin, Al-Rayyan, Baic Motor cruise to semis of Asian club championship
- Argentina and Chile take gold in Tucuman stop of South American Beach Tour
- Zurich glory for Swiss and German duos
- Match times announced for FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship first round
- CEV President signs agreement with Danish Federation to establish Europe’s fifth Regional Volleyball Development Centre
- Field takes shape as more teams book ticket to Youth Olympic Games
- Watch skilled young athletes and training videos on FIVB Development YouTube
- Puerto Rican and American boys ticketed to Nanjing
- Puerto Rican and Canadian girls grab spots to Nanjing
- Top New Zealand pair out to boost beach volleyball’s profile before taking on world
- Volero Zurich leads national teams, as preparations begin for FIVB Women's Club Championship
- American duo breezes past opponents in day one in Carolina
- Canadian twins steal the show in Carolina
- South Gas Club Sports, Matin Varamin, Al-Rayyan, Baic Motor top their pools in Asian Club preliminary round
- Aussie pair takes important first step before FIVB World Tour
- Qatar, Vanuatu share honours at Khanom Asian Beach Volleyball Tour
- Al-Rayyan on course to a clean sweep in the preliminaries
- Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Qatar, China clubs remain unbeaten after Day 3 of Asian Men's Club Volleyball Championship
- FIVB stars on show as Swiss Tour gets underway
- Lases Cup comes to another successful end in Latvia
- Iran's Matin Varamin overcome Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler at Asian Men’s Club Championship