Countdown has started in Klagenfurt for CEV Beach Volleyball European Championship Final
On Monday CEV President André Meyer was in Klagenfurt to attend a press conference where he could proudly disclose the list of the 32 teams per gender that will be fighting for gold there on the shores of the Wörthersee. “We expect teams from 20 different countries; 15 nations are set to be represented in the men’s tournament where hosts Austria, Germany and the Netherlands will line up four teams apiece. Germany is the country with the largest contingent in the women’s division as they got the right to register five teams, followed by the Netherlands and Switzerland with four” he said.
The CEV President was joined on stage by the President of the Austrian Volleyball Federation (OeVV) and CEV Board member Peter Kleinmann, Hannes Jagerhofer, Managing Director of promoter ACTS, as well as by local authorities including the Governor of the Austrian province of Kärnten, Peter Kaiser, and the Lord Mayor of Klagenfurt, Christian Scheider. The entry lists are topped by Dutchmen Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen who did cause a real sensation a couple of weeks ago as they claimed gold at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championship in Stare Jablonki, Poland, and by Italy’s Greta Cicolari/Marta Menegatti who will be chasing their second European title after they finished first two years ago in Kristiansand, Norway.
Europe’s Beach Volleyball elite will be in Klagenfurt for the major highlight of the year with the 2013 world champions from the Netherlands set to take on the bronze medalists from Stare Jablonki, i.e. Germany’s Kay Matysik and Jonathan Erdmann, as well as on the most consistent European duo on the World Tour, Janis Smedins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs of Latvia, as they embark on a quest for what would be a unique and unprecedented double, i.e. European and world gold during the same season. Other contenders for the medals include local heroes Clemens Doppler/Alexander Horst – winners of the Novi Sad Masters this past Saturday in Serbia – who were also in attendance at the press conference and will carry the hopes of the host country together with Xandi Huber and Robin Seidl, an up-and-coming duo that a couple of months ago made it to the podium at the Fuzhou Open in China. Triple European champions Reinder Nummerdor and Richard Schuil will once more star at the European Championship Final together with 2012 Olympic champion Julius Brink, recently awarded “Coolest Beach Boy” at the European Volleyball Gala in Vienna, who is set to compete together with Sebastian Fuchs.
Last year’s golden girls Sanne Keizer and Marleen van Iersel (NED) haven’t shown their best this season but remain strong contenders for the medals together with their compatriots Sophie van Gestel and Madelein Meppelink, but all eyes will be on Germany’s Karla Borger and Britta Büthe who – only two weeks ago – turned into Europe’s first female duo capable of making the World Championship final where they lost to China’s Chen Xue and Zhang Xi. Another former European champion – Laura Ludwig – will try to go for more glory alongside Kira Walkenhorst after the player with whom she shared two European titles (in 2008 and 2010), Sara Goller, retired at the end of the past season. 2011 European silver medalist Barbara Hansel will carry Austria’s hopes in the competition together with former U20 European champion Katharina Schützenhöfer and the sibling duo Doris and Stefanie Schwaiger.
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