02.06.2022 - Vienna, Austria
Before the A1 CEV BeachVolley Nations Cup will take place from August 2 to 7 and will crown the European Champions of Nations, the World Championships will be played from June 10 to 19 at the Foro Italico in Rome. On Tuesday, the pools were drawn here and we have taken a closer look at some of the most interesting pools for you.
In the groups everyone plays against everyone. The two top-seeded teams after the group stage and the four best third-placed teams from the 12 pools will advance to the knockout stage. In the men's event, 22 European teams were able to secure a place at the World Championships. With 48 teams in total, European dominance is clearly evident here.
Pool E: Andre/George, Samoilovs/Smedins, Huber/Dressler, Salemi/Vakili
With Samoilovs/Smedins a very experienced team can be found in Pool E. Besides the Latvians, the Brazilians Andre/George are definitely a team to be reckoned with. As the second European team Huber/Dressler will compete in Pool E. The Austrians finished third at the Itapema 4* last fall and are definitely an opponent to be taken seriously. A win against Salemi/Vakij is a must for the Austrians in this group in order to continue at the World Championships and advance to the Knock-Out phase as one of the best third seeded teams.
Pool G: de Groot/Boermans, Ermacora/Pristauz, Herrera/Gavira, Jiaxin/Likejiang
EuroBeachVolley 2021 runners-up de Groot/Boermans have a tough group to deal with in Pool G. The Dutch will face Austrians Ermacora/Pristauz and Spanish veterans Herrera/Gavira. Jiaxin/Likejiang complete the group dominated by European teams. The young Dutch team is currently ranked number one in the world after a strong last season, but this year they have not quite found their form yet. Their best result this year was a fourth place at the Challenge tournament in Doha. In this duel for third place, Ermacora/Pristauz prevailed against the Dutch and achieved their best result of the season. We will see if de Groot/Boermans can take revenge for the defeat in Rome. Herrera/Gavira are quite different: The Spanish finished fourth at the Elite16 in Ostrava and presented themselves in top form. The Chinese rarely take part in World Tour tournaments and are therefore a difficult opponent to assess. It will be exciting to see how quickly the European teams can adjust to them. In any case, they are not to be underestimated and can also emerge from the group as a dark horse.
Fun Fact: Herrera competed in World Championships for the first time in 2003, and in Rome he will compete in his tenth World Championships. Herrera/Gavira also appeared in the 2011 World Championships in Rome, where they finished with a solid 5th place.
Pool H: Mol/Sørum, Aravena/Droguett, Luini/Penninga, Benzi/Bonifazi
With Mol/Sørum, the top favorites of the tournament are to be found in Pool H. After impressive performances at the Olympic Games and the EuroBeachVolley in Vienna 2021, their pool opponents will have a hard time topping the group here. The young Chileans Aravena/Droguett and the Dutch Luini/Penninga have already achieved solid results this year and presented themselves in good form at various Challenge tournaments. Benzi/Bonifazi were able to secure the domestic wild card and now want to show off at the home World Championships. The chances of advancing from the group are relatively slim, but the home World Cup still offers a good opportunity to present themselves.
Pool I: Grimalt/Grimalt, Seidl/Waller, Kantor/Rudol, Windisch/DalCorso
Pool I also has a strong line-up and is sure to hold a few surprises for the spectators: With Kantor/Rudol and Windisch/Dal Corso, two newly formed teams are represented in Pool I. The Italian duo wants to use the support of the home fans and tease the top-seeded teams. Both Grimalt/Grimalt and Seidl/Waller have played their way into the top 10 of the world rankings with solid performances in the past few months. The encounter can certainly be seen as a key match in group I.
With five teams, the Italians as hosts are the nation with the most teams in the competition, closely followed by Brazil with four teams. The Italians are not necessarily among the favorites, but the following statistic holds out hope for all fans of the Italian nation: At the last three World Championships, the home team always managed to reach the final. Furthermore, Perusic/Schweiner, Cherif/Ahmed and Bryl/Losiak, in particular, belong to the extended group of potential winners. But, as we all know, anything can happen, especially in beach volleyball and at a big event like the World Championships. One thing is for sure: it will be an exciting tournament!
Games to watch
We can especially recommend the games of the young Swedes Åhman /Hellvig, their unconventional style of play ensures excitement and action. The games of the newly formed team Sander/Crabb also promise interesting matches. And of course, Mr. Skyball Carambula and his partner Rossi are always a hot tip for spectacular rallies.