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:
- Puerto Rico: “Soto-Man” makes experience count
- Talking Stats: FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour—July 29
- Medal winners return to Porto for the U19 World Championships
- Poland, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Bulgaria assume early pool leadership in World Grand Prix
- FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour update after 11 events
- Elisa Togut looks ahead to Women's World Championship
- Social Timeline: Golden fun in the Long Beach sun
- Social Timeline: New format, same excitement as 2014 Grand Prix begins
- Historic success for Mexico
- USA’s Dalhausser & Rosenthal net third 2014 World Tour gold
- Ross/Walsh Jennings capture women’s gold on home sand
- Back-to-back Larnaka gold for Poland’s Bryl and Kujawiak
- Four European teams keep spotless win-records in World Grand Prix
- Brazil to battle USA Sunday for Long Beach women’s gold
- Men’s Long Beach final between Poland, USA
- U21 World Championships in Larnaka down to last eight
- Collin cites competition
- Kenya stand as sole debutant winner on World Grand Prix opener
- Two USA duos along with Germany, Poland win quarterfinals Friday in Long Beach
- Women’s elite eight ready for quarterfinals and semis in Long Beach
- Top teams thrive at U21 World Championships
- Lima is ready for the World Grand Prix
- Akers applies authentic accentuate
- Africa Queens land in Mexico for FIVB World Grand Prix
- Mexico to stage first weekend of FIVB World Grand Prix Pool Q matches
- 24 Men’s teams set for Long Beach single-elimination rounds
- Women’s field reduced to 24 for single-elimination rounds in Long Beach
- Main draw of the FIVB U21 World Championships on its way
- Beach Volleyball under the Big “T.O.P.”
- World Grand Prix statistical preview: Brazil eye back-to-back titles
- 2014 FIVB World Grand Prix Media Guide online
- Peru intensify workouts ahead of World Grand Prix
- Kazakhstan bring in experience for World Grand Prix opening weekend in Almaty
- Argentina prepare for first weekend of World Grand Prix
- Five teams make their debuts as record-breaking FIVB World Grand Prix gets underway
- World Grand Prix: Bigger and better than ever
- 1986: USA bring a halt to East European dominance
- World League's top four USA, Brazil, Italy and Iran contribute to Dream Team
- 13 Women’s duos win first two of three rounds of Pool Play Wednesday at Alamitos Beach
- Men complete first of three rounds of Pool Play at Long Beach
- Researcher reaps rewards
- Eight qualification winners and five lucky losers make it into U21 main draw
- FIVB President holds FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship talks with JVA and TBS
- “Best ever”: USA and the sport of volleyball are winners as the FIVB World League celebrates its 25th anniversary
- Italian Prime Minister attends FIVB World League Finals in Florence
- ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball, a $1,000,000 FIVB Grand Slam in Long Beach
- Finding Stars on Alamitos Beach
- Andrea Zorzi: Speed is at the heart of modern volleyball
- World League performances reshuffle world ranking
- Algeria to host Women's U18 and U23 African Nations Championships