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Eight qualification winners and five lucky losers make it into U21 main draw

Mathias Berntsen from Norway tries to block a spike from Illia Kovalov from Ukraine

Larnaka, Cyprus, July 23, 2014 - Eight qualification teams, four for each gender, made it into the main draw of the FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Championships by winning their final round match on Wednesday in Larnaka, Cyprus. Due to travel problems of some main draw teams, three lucky losers were added to the men’s competition and two in the women’s.


Key points

·       In total 24 men’s teams and 20 women’s teams competed in the qualification tournament on the blazing hot courts on Finikoudes beach.

·       The longest match on Wednesday lasted 1 hour and 3 minutes. Canada’s Palmer/Palmer defeated Australia’s Guehrer/Schubert 21-16, 28-30, 19-17.

·       The qualification tournament featured two twins: Liam and Lucas Palmer (AUS) and Megan and Nicole McNamara (CAN). In the women’s main draw is another twin: Teresa and Nadine Straus (AUT).

·       Temperatures reached 35 degrees Celsius with high humidity as well.

·       Larnaka hosts a FIVB age group event for the second time after the U19 World Championships in 2012.


The following qualifiers made it to the main draw, men: Leshukov/Margiev (RUS), Kovalov/Plotnytskyi (UKR), Benes/Perusic (CZE), Smith/Orenic (USA) and lucky losers Rudolf/Betzien (GER), Sannarnes/Berntsen (NOR) and Wierzbicky/Lysikowski (POL), women’s: Knudsen/Strange (USA), McNamara/McNamara (CAN), Gschöpf/Gesslbauer (AUT), Glenzke/Schreiber (GER) and lucky losers Babenka/Mileuskaya (BLR) and Parisaki/Manavi (GRE).


Czech team Benes/Perusic reach U21 main draw thanks to adrenaline and luck

With a fair dose of adrenaline, some luck and a good amount of experience Ondrej Benes and Ondrej Perusic reached the main draw of the FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Championships on Wednesday.

The Czech pair had to fight their way through qualification, defeating Dedkov/Sinhayeuski from Belarus (21-15, 21-19), Kazakhstan’s Dmitriyev/Polichshuk (21-8, 21-10) and Germany’s Rudolf/Betzien (13-21, 21-18, 15-13), but also had to deal with temperatures of 35 degrees Celsius and high humidity on the Finikoudes beach in the Cypriot resort of Larnaka. Read more


Canadian McNamara-twins grab main draw spot at U21 in Larnaka

In only their first FIVB Beach Volleyball event Megan and Nicole McNamara qualified for main draw at the U21 World Championships on Wednesday. The 16-year old Canadian twins defeated home team Kontou/Leonidou (21-5, 21-6) and Greece’s Parisaki/Manavi (21-18, 21-15) on the soaring hot Finikoudes beach in Larnaka, Cyprus.

After a fairly easy win over the Cypriot team the McNamaras had a shaky start in the final qualification round match against Ioanna Parisaki and Dimitra Manavi. “The first set was much closer than the second”, Nicole said. “We were a bit nervous and we did not know our opponents.” Read more


Cypriot talent Leonidou (13) debuts at U21 World Championships

“It’s the participation that counts, not the result”, big words from the youngest player of the FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Champions in Larnaka, the 13-year old Evita Leonidou, on Wednesday.

She and her 18-year old partner Antrea Kontou made their FIVB debut on Wednesday in the qualification tournament of the U21 world champs. Unfortunately it only lasted one match, losing 2-0 (21-5, 21-6) against the Canadian McNamara-twins. Read more


The FIVB U21 World Championships are the third of four FIVB age group events on the 2014 calendar. Poland hosted the U23 in June and the inaugural U17 took place in Mexico last week. Portugal will host the U19 next week. In August some of the young athletes will participate in the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing in China.


Larnaka is a tourist resort on the southern coast of Cyprus with a population of 75,000. The centre court stadium is situated next to the boulevard, opposite of the player’s hotel and seats 1,600.


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