2019-03-20 16:46:00 CET
Reigning Olympic and World champions confirm new constellations
In the game of musical chairs that is beach volleyball players needing to find new partners, Alison Cerutti André Loyola Stein have wasted no time in finding new ones.
Having ended their nine-month partnership at the weekend, Alison – the reigning Olympic champion – will now team-up with Álvaro Filho, while André will now share the sand with 22-year-old George Wanderley.
Both teams will have eyes on qualification for this year’s World Championships in Hamburg and the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Álvaro will leave the side of beach legend Ricardo, with whom he will continue to play with at this weekend’s Brazilian national tour stop in Natal. It’s yet another change for Álvaro, the FIVB’s sportsperson of the year in 2017, who has already played with four different players on the World Tour in the past 12 months.
For the Mammoth the change is a vital one as he looks to stamp his ticket for Tokyo in a bid to defend the Olympic title that he won with Bruno Oscar Schmidt on the Copacabana in 2016.
“I’m very happy for the invitation to be able to form this partnership with Alison,” said Filho. “He is someone I admire not only for the achievements but also for the attitudes. I remember the surgery he had, what he went through and what he had to overcome, the power of overcoming and the inspiring recovery that was crowned with Olympic gold.
“Alison and I are going to make a competitive team and it all starts in practice. Let’s live one day at a time, one step at a time because the walk is long. Let us prepare ourselves in the best way.”
As for André, he teams up with George having made history in Vienna in 2017 when becoming the youngest ever World Champion at the age of 22. However, shortly after that victory he and Evandro Gonçalves announced their split. It has been reported that André has since inquired into Evandro’s availability of rekindling that partnership, but the answer from the big-serving Evandro was not a positive one – he will continue to work on his new project with Bruno.
Wanderely, though, brings plenty of beach credentials to the table. The youngster is a former Under-19 and Under-21 World Champion has already won a gold medal on the World Tour, back in 2017 with Vitor Felipe, and has most recently partnered Thiago Santos Barbosa.
The remaining top-ranked partnerships Pedro Solberg/Vitor Felipe and Guto Carvalhaes and Saymon Barbosa have all confirmed their futures to one another, meaning it will be an interesting next few months in the race to bag a spot in Hamburg in July.
Bring it on!