Everything set for Continental Cup in Portorož
Portorož, Slovenia, May 10, 2019. Slovenia is going to host this weekend the Pool E matches in the first round of the 2018-2020 CEV Beach Volleyball Continental Cup. The home teams will compete against the Czech Republic, Israel and Northern Ireland in the men’s event, while Slovenia’s women will face Bulgaria and Latvia in an attempt to proceed to the next phase on the road that takes to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Most of the teams arrived in Portorož earlier to test the Slovenian sand, as well as the CEV officials, who have already checked the venue. “So far everything has been going according to the CEV rules and we are very happy with that. Despite everything, the weather forecast is quite good for now. Most probably, there will be some heavy rain on Saturday evening, but only after the end of the competition day,” stated Jasmin Čuturić, Slovenia’s national team head coach, who has high expectations for the upcoming Olympic qualifying event.
The Czechs Vaclav Bercik/Jan Dumek and Ondrej Perusic/David Schweiner will enter the competition as the top-seeded team of the pool. Their strongest rivals should be home heroes Nejc Zemljak/Jan Pokeršnik and Vid Jakopin/Jure Peter Bedrač. “We are expecting and hoping to deliver solid performances and claim a good result. The goal is clear: we aim to qualify for the next round. There will be some top-notch teams in the tournament and they know how to play high-level Beach Volleyball, thus promising us interesting matches. My partner Jan (Pokeršnik) and I have already played against some of them, so there should not be any big secrets. I hope that at the end of the day we will be the ones to move on to the second round,” Zemljak explained after the first practice in Portorož.
The favourites of women’s Pool E are Latvia’s Anastasija Kravcenoka/Tina Graudina and Alise Lece/Marta Ozolina. “The Latvians will definitely be the strongest opponent to beat since they have come to Portorož with their strongest teams. I do not know much about Bulgaria’s players, but we definitely will not underestimate them. The plan is to give our best and the main objective is to secure a spot for our country in the next phase of the CEV Continental Cup,” Tjaša Jančar revealed her wishes before the start of the tournament. Together with Tjaša Kotnik and Ana Skarlovnik/Jelena Pešić, she is expecting strong support from the stands at the first international Beach Volleyball tournament held on home soil in 2019.
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Information by cev.eu