2017-05-16 10:34:00 CEST
Full steam ahead for players ahead of Poreč
Beach volleyball fans are in for a treat this week as the stars come out to play on Brazilian sand for the four-star event in Rio.
Top billing is reserved for both 2016 Olympic gold medalists, Alison/Bruno and Ludwig/Walkenhorst, with the German girls taking part in their first World Tour tournament of the season following Ludwig’s successful recovery from shoulder surgery.
Both Fort Lauderdale Major champions are also bidding for gold. Alvaro Filho/Saymon and Larissa/Talita were in imperious form in Florida back in February and they will be aiming to make to it to the top of the podium once more.
But the destination of the medals in Rio will be anybody’s guess with both the men’s and women’s main draws jam-packed with the best of the best in beach volleyball. It’s the ideal tournament for the players to prepare for a stunning summer season which kicks-off with our own five-star Poreč Major between June 27 and July 2, and also includes the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, presented by A1, in Vienna.
One look at this week’s main draw shows just how competitive it will be. It’s a veritable feast of famous beach faces, with Rio Olympic and Fort Lauderdale Major heroes in action as they go into battle at the Rio Tennis Centre in the Olympic Park.
However, one noticeable omission from the women’s half are Americans and Rio Olympic bronze medalists Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross. You can read why exactly, here.
If history is anything to go by then the home fans are going to be happy. In the previous 79 international tournaments hosted on Brazilian sand, the South American nation has won gold an incredible 48 times. In Rio itself, that record reads seven men’s gold in 17 events and six of the women’s 10 titles. Impressive stuff, huh?
And with a guaranteed eight Brazilians teams in the main draw (four men’s and four women’s) then who would bet against more Samba success on the sand this week?
Let the games begin!
Graudina/Kravcenoka and Liliana/Elsa prevailed in the Qualification Tournament in China
Italians Lupo/Nicolai and Latvians Plavins/Tocs have qualified to next year’s Summer Games
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