2018-01-24 10:30:00 CET
Ten international players will compete in the country’s National Tour stop in Fortaleza this week
The Brazilian Beach Volleyball National Tour is set to resume this week, but any fan who stops by the courts at the Iracema Beach in Fortaleza can very well believe the World Tour is in town as 10 international players, including four Rio 2016 Olympians, will join the local stars in the tournament.
All of them, except Julia Sude, will start their campaigns in the qualification tournament, which starts on Wednesday. The German – who was a bronze medalist at the Fort Lauderdale Major last year – will team up with Brazilian Taiana Lima and replace her usual partner Elize Maia, who is injured. They will make their debut on Friday, when the women’s main draw begins.
The other four international women competing in Fortaleza will be the new Dutch team of Rio 2016 Olympian Marleen van Iersel and Joy Stubbe, American Caitlin Ledoux, who will partner with Thais Ferreira, and the two-time Argentinean Olympian Ana Gallay, who will join forces with Camillinha Saldanha. They will all play on Thursday.
“I really hope I can play more times in Brazil as it is one of the best national tours in the world and it will really help to improve my level,” Gallay told us. “And I love that I will play with a Brazilian. I wish more national tours provided us the same opportunity.”
On the men’s side, Russian Rio 2016 Olympian Konstantin Semenov will compete for a spot in the main draw with his new partner Ilya Leshukov. The other international players are the four-time Olympian and former indoor star Reid Priddy, of the United States, who will partner with the legendary Ricardo Santos, his fellow American Jeremy Casebeer, who will have veteran Harley Marques by his side, and Uruguayan Mauricio Acosta, who will share the court with Rafa.
The tournament, of course, will also feature all of the Brazilian stars, such as world champions Andre Loyola and Evandro Goncalves and Olympic champions Alison Cerutti and Bruno Schmidt in the men’s side, as well as Agatha Bednarczuk/Duda Lisboa, Barbara Seixas/Fernanda Alves and Maria Elisa Antonelli/Carol Solberg among the women.
The Fortaleza event will be fourth of the seven scheduled for the 2017/2018 Brazilian Tour. After the first three tournaments, Evandro and Andre lead among the men while Maria Antonelli and Carol top the women’s rankings.