07.02.2023 - Vienna, Austria
Hello beach volleyball fans!
Last week the 2023 season kicked off with the first tournament in Doha. Of course, we don't want to leave you in the dark about what's happening on the World Tour and report with a special focus on the players we will be welcoming to the A1 CEV EuroBeachVolley 2023 in Vienna.
One thing can be said in advance:
European teams dominate at the season opener
The dominance of the European teams was already evident in the women's and men's semifinals. Only in the women's competition the Australian duo Clancy/Mariafe was able to mingle with the European top stars.
The final was similar to the one at the A1 CEV European Championships 2021 in Vienna - Hüberli/Brunner against Stam/Schoon. This time the young Dutch duo had the better cards and thus secured their first victory on the World Tour since Paris 2022 with a narrow 3 set win (20:22, 21:14, 15:11).
They were the only women's team to remain undefeated and were able to beat the number 1 of the world and the reigning world champions Ana Patrícia/Duda already in the first pool match in a tight and exciting match with 2:1 (20:22, 31:29, 16:14), after which five more victories followed until their gold metal.
The European champions Anastasija Samoilova and Tina Graudina made their comeback – after the rather disappointing result at the finals – and were able to make a strong start to the season with 4th place, just like the rest of the European teams.
A nice side fact from Canada: The former World Champion Pavan could already celebrate her first victory with her new partner Bukovec in the second pool match against the strong Germans Müller/Tillmann. In the newly created intermediate round, however, they lost to Ana Patrícia/Duda.
More information about the new women's teams for the 2023 season can be found here.
Despite a lot of tension, the same mischievous winner's smile can be seen in the men's competition from the top of the podium at the end. Once again the winners are Anders Mol and Christian Sørum. As in the finals the week before, the two remained undefeated during the whole tournament and were able to win the next tournament title with a sovereign 2-set victory (21:19,21:19) against the young Swedes Åhman/Hellvig.
So the new season starts as it ended with a victory of Mol/Sørum.
Already in the pool matches there was the eagerly awaited clash between the young stars Åhman/Hellvig and the two superstars Mol/Sørum from Norway. Many are already talking about the new "El Classico" of beach volleyball.
During the pool match, one could even guess that this encounter would have the character of a final. After a furious start of the young Swedes, in the end the world champions from Norway could prevail with a tight 3-set victory (15:21, 21:18, 15:13). There was a reunion in the final.
The reunited Italian team Carambula/Ranghieri – after their strong performance at the finals – proved once again with a strong 3rd place that this duo is a force to be reckoned with in the 2023 season.
Especially Ranghieri is not only top scorer but also the best blocker of the tournament.
All the news about the newly formed men's teams can be found here.
However the extreme density of world class teams that currently prevails in men's beach volleyball is particularly notable.
There were 3 teams from the qualification in the quarter finals and with Ranghieri/Carambula even a team from the qualification made it to the podium with their third place. One gets the feeling – with the exception of the two superstars from Norway – that every team on the tour could beat each other at the moment, which promises extreme excitement for the rest of the season.
We are curious to see how the season continues, whether the dominance of the two Norwegians Mol/Sørum will persist or whether it can be broken through, for example by the Swedish young stars at the A1 CEV European Beach Volleyball Championships.
Fire away for the 2023 season and the battle for Olympic qualification and qualification for the A1 CEV EuroBeachVolley 2023. We are already looking forward to the next tournaments and are excited to see which teams we can welcome in Vienna. One thing can already be said: Europe is on fire!
Disappointing performance of the Austrians
While the Klinger Sisters had to admit defeat to Taiana Lima/Hegeile early in the qualification after a courageous fight, the earlier exit in the qualification of Rob Seidl and Phil Waller was surprising.
However, the season is still young and we are confident that the red-white-red teams will roll up the field from behind at the next tournaments and will be in absolute top form at the home European Championships from August 2 to 6 on Vienna's Danube Island.