17.08.2021 - Vienna, Austria
Paolo Nicolai said before the start of the A1 CEV EuroBeachVolley Vienna 2021 presented by Swatch that he expected it to be the best edition of the event ever held and now that the tournament is over, it’s hard to argue with the fact that the Italian Olympic medalist was absolutely right on his take.
Between Wednesday and Sunday, Vienna welcomed the elite of beach volleyball again after two years and kept the momentum the sport built during the Olympics going with fantastic matches and an electric atmosphere.
During five days, about 50 hours of beach volleyball were played in the Austrian capital, with 112 matches split between the remodeled Red Bull Beach Arena, developed to ensure the safety and security of all fans and placed at the heart of Vienna, and the three A1 5G Side Courts, situated in the traditional Danube Island location.
More importantly than establishing new champions or extending the domination of defending ones, the 2021 EuroBeachVolley has reunited the two biggest assets of beach volleyball – its fantastic athletes and amazing fans – in the sport’s most popular location as approximately 30,000 supporters followed the action in person across both venues.
“This was the best EuroBeachVolley I ever played at,” Polish Bartosz Losiak, who took bronze in the tournament and has played in ten different editions, said. “Vienna is the best location for beach volleyball events. The organization was great and the fans just know how make the tournament a really fun one for everyone. They have great energy and celebrate and dance. Playing at the Red Bull Beach Arena is always fantastic.”
The Red Bull Beach Arena was electric during each of the five days of competition and Austrian fans showed once again why they’re had as the best in the world when it comes to beach volleyball. They were loud and energetic and made the of experience of each player that got to play there a really special one.
“It’s the best feeling in the world to play in front of people again because fans just create a special atmosphere and they give so much energy to us,” Latvian Tina Graudina, who finished fourth with partner Anastasija Kravcenoka, added. “Even in normal times, it’s amazing to play in Vienna, but after coming back from Covid, it’s even more special. The Austrian fans are just incredible, they just love beach volleyball so much.”
The next edition of the EuroBeachVolley will also be a special one as the tournament will celebrate its 30th anniversary and will, for the first time, be part of the European Championships in Munich, Germany. But one thing is for sure – Vienna has set the bar really high for whatever comes next.