07.07.2019 - Gstaad, Switzerland
The memories of the fantastic FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships Hamburg 2019 presented by comdirect and ALDI Nord are still fresh in the minds of beach volleyball lovers around the globe but the sport’s elite will have no time to rest as the iconic location of Gstaad is ready to host the best players in the world for the 20th-straight season from July 8-14.
The tournament is the most traditional stop of the World Tour since its first edition, in 2000, and will once again stage unforgettable matches as all the top players head to the Swiss Alps for the Beach Major Series event once again looking for either continuity after accomplishing World Championships glory in Hamburg or redemption after a frustrating campaign in the German harbor city.
“Gstaad is my favorite tournament and I can’t wait to be there,” World Championships bronze medalist and reigning Gstaad champion Andre Mol of Norway said. “We’ll get some rest in the next few days and will be ready when the competition stats there. It’s a Major and there will a lot of points in play, so we want to do our best in front of the amazing fans there.”
The Swatch Major Gstaad will feature 71 of the 96 teams that competed for the World Championships crowns this past week in Hamburg, including five of the six medalist duos and champions Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes of Canada, who won last year’s tournament in the Swiss Alps, and Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Viacheslav Krasilnikov of Russia.
Hosts Switzerland will have as many as eight teams in contention in their home soil including the women’s duo of Nina Betschart and Tanja Hüberli, who marched all the way to the semi-finals in Hamburg and delivered their country its best-ever World Championships finish with a fourth-place.
The hosts will be looking for their first medal in their home sands since 2012, when Simone Kuhn and Nadine Zumkehr won bronze. Local stars Joana Hedrich and Anouk Vergé-Dépré came close in 2017, when they made it to the semi-finals but had to settle for fourth.
Action at the Swiss Alps starts on Monday with country-quota playoffs for American man and women and for Brazilian male teams. Among the ones looking for qualification berths will be the US teams of Summer Ross/Sara Hughes and Kelly Claes/Sarah Sponcil, who were fifth and ninth in Hamburg respectively, and Brazil’s Pedro Solberg/Vitor Felipe, who were 17th at the World Championships.