31.01.2020 - Vienna, Austria
The month of January is already behind us and, boy, it went fast, didn’t it? Most of the top beach volleyball players are still warming up for the upcoming season, but there have been some noticeable developments over the last week, both on and off the court.
As the World Tour calendar expands with a few more stop being added in Europe, in South America the Continental Cup reaches a critical point. There’s also news about a player who’s about to return and what arguably was one of the toughest farewells for sports people.
Continental Tour heats up in South America
The Olympic race for the South American nations will reach a turning point this weekend as men’s teams from Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia and hosts Uruguay will clash in Pocitos in the semifinal round of the Continental Cup. The winners will join Argentina, Brazil and Chile in the final round, which will be played in June and will qualify one country to the Tokyo 2020 Games.
World Tour events confirmed in Europe
The FIVB has confirmed the addition of five World Tour one-star events in 2020. The tournaments will be hosted by the European Volleyball Federation between May and August and will be part of the continent’s tour. The locations include Baden (Austria), Ios (Greece), Vaduz (Liechtenstein), Ljubljana (Slovenia) and the debuting Bettystown (Republic of Ireland).
Lili working her way back
Brazilian blocker Lili Maestrini hasn’t been seen in a while due to the birth of her first son with beach volleyball star Larissa Franca, but now that the little Gael has just completed his fourth month of life the 32-year-old player is working hard on the sand to hopefully resume her career in 2020.
Social Media: Rest in Peace, Kobe!
The entire sports community mourns the loss of basketball legend Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter accident last weekend in California. Several beach volleyball fans posted tributes to the basketball star on their social media accounts, including American veteran April Ross, who met Kobe during the London 2012 Olympics.
Thanks Kobe for making me feel like I was part of the team. My first Olympics, you took the time to walk and talk like I was your equal and offer this newbie your hard earned advice. You inspired me by how intelligent, humble, and down to earth you were, it had nothing to do with your accomplishments. I feel like you were just beginning to fulfill your purpose in this life and it has placed such a heavy weight on my chest knowing that you won’t get to continue your work here. The way you lifted up women’s sports and your daughter’s pursuit of her own goals was beyond impactful, grateful 🙏🏼 Seeing how many people have been able to post photos with you and share their personal stories reveals how magnanimous you really were. You were generous with your time, your spirit, and your life and you definitely did not have to be, but we are all better for the impression you left while here and the legacy you leave behind. Thank you for the drive, determination, and wholeheartedness you played and lived with, it will never be forgotten. 🖤 RIP KOBE AND GIANNA 🖤
In case you missed it
See you next week!