14.06.2020 - Vienna, Austria
Markéta Sluková’s and Barbora Hermannová’s hat-trick at the Czech Tour was the highlight of a weekend with plenty of beach volleyball all over Europe as besides of the event in Nymburk, national tour tournaments also took place in Finland, Slovenia and Germany over the last few days.
The Czech Tour, which was the first to start after the peak of the coronavirus pandemic in Europe, crowned the 2018 Vienna Major champions Sluková and Hermannová for the third-straight week as the Olympians won the women’s tournament held in Nymburk. Beach Major Series regulars Michala Kvapilová and Michaela Kubícková were second, followed by Sára Stochlová and Martina Maixnerová, repeating the podium placements of the season-opening event in Litoměřice two weeks ago.
“We decided to switch positions for this tournament so we could get a different training and the change suited us well,” Sluková commented at the end. “They are a very good team and every time we play them it’s a difficult match.”
The third men’s event of the Czech Tour season took place in Opava and it saw the winners of the season opener, Jan Hadrava and Donovan Džavoronok, return to the top of the podium as well. Silver went to Jiri Sedlák and Jan Dumek while Jakub Ihnát and Filip Gavenda finished third.
The first event of the Finnish Tour also saw familiar faces for Beach Major Series fans clashing in the final as Riikka Lehtonen and Niina Ahtiainen outplayed Taru Lahti and Anniina Parkkinen for the gold medal in Sastamala.
“We train with them every single day, so it was a very familiar match,” the 40-year-old Lehtonen explained. “But, of course, it had a different feeling than training for both teams and we had to understand the game and be ready to take advantage when an opportunity appeared and that’s what we did. It felt great to return to the court with Niina after such a long time.”
The men’s event in Sastamala was won by Santeri Siren and Jyrki Nurminen, who defeated the Viljamaa’s cousins Jarmo and Saku.
Slovenia also started its national season this weekend and the first men’s tournament of the year was won by Tadej Boženk and Vid Jakopin, who topped Hungarians Artur Hajos and Atila Streli. The women’s title went to Tadja Lovšin and Špela Morgan, who prevailed over Zala Špoljarič and Lana Žužek.
The weekend also had the start of the newest German beach volleyball event, the Die Beach Liga, which reunites eight men’s and women’s teams of the country in Düsseldorf for 30 days of consecutive play. Only the women saw the court in the first couple of days of action and just two teams remain unbeaten after their first four matches – World Tour regulars Kim Behrens and Cinja Tillmann and Rio 2016 Olympian Karla Borger and temporary partner Svenja Müller. The teams will clash on Monday evening.