Kaliningrad Region poised to host first international Beach Volleyball event in five years
Yantarny, Russia, August 9, 2017. An international Beach Volleyball competition is about to take place in the Kaliningrad Region for the first time in five years thanks to the CEV-EEVZA double-gender Satellite running from Thursday through to Sunday at Yantarny.
Actually, Beach Volleyball found its home in this area quite a while ago already. Back in 2009, Yantarny played host to the CEV U23 Beach Volleyball European Championship – and this same city hosted several stops of the Russian national tour, while some other tournaments took place in another city of the Kaliningrad Region - Zelenogradsk. However, since 2012, i.e. when Zelenogradsk hosted an EEVZA event, no other Beach Volleyball competition of international calibre has taken place in the area.
Teams from many European countries, including Austria, Germany, Belarus, Latvia, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and, of course, Russia will compete at Yantarny from August 10 to 13. The Main Draw will feature 16 teams per gender and obviously, Russia are hoping to use the home-court advantage to perform well and secure a spot on the podium.
Tournament Director Ilya Volodarskiy, the Mayor of Yantarny Alexey Zalivatsky, the Vice-Governor of the Kaliningrad Region, five-time Olympic champion in synchronised swimming Natalia Ishchenko, as well as Austria’s Thomas Kunert/Christoph Dressler and Germany’s Lisa Arnholdt/Leonie Welsch attended a press conference on Wednesday, thus setting the tone for the days to come.
Natalia Ishchenko, who knows a lot about professional sport, was particularly happy that an international Beach Volleyball competition is returning to the Kaliningrad Region. “It’s great that after five years Beach Volleyball is coming back here. Yantarny has one of the best beaches in our country, and quite naturally, it can host beach sports. As for professional athletes competing at the CEV Satellite, we have been trying to provide the best conditions so that they can enjoy their stay in our region. Taking advantage of the opportunity provided by this event, I want to invite representatives of other beach sports to pay attention to our region, and we will be happy to welcome everyone,” Ishchenko said.
Kunert and Dressler recently performed at the World Championship in front of a raucous home crowd in Vienna but there is no time to rest for the Austrians. “The World Champs was terrific, but the season does not end with that, and the final of CEV European Championship in Jurmala, which lies quite close to Yantarny, is around the corner. As a result, this Satellite should serve as an excellent preparation for the EuroBeachVolley. On top of this, there are not so many tournaments left this season, so you need to take every opportunity to play an official game,” Dressler said.
“Yantarny and the Kaliningrad Region have a wealth of experience in hosting Beach Volleyball competitions. It is great that we are here again, and the memories from previous events are the most pleasant. It feels great that the tournament has drawn so much attention from foreign teams. This kind of events represent the outcome of an effort made by the CEV and EEVZA to increase the number of international tournaments organised in Europe. Let us hope that the weather will be on our side and the interest of spectators will match the players’ enthusiasm. I’m sure that Beach Volleyball will be a feature here for a long time,” Volodarskiy said.
The CEV-EEVZA Satellite in Yantarny will start on Thursday with the qualification round and the eventual winners will emerge on Sunday, August 13.
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Information by cev.lu