Vienna, Austria, August 5, 2017 - While Germany and the United States compete for the women’s gold medal at the 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships presented by A1, eight different countries are represented in the men’s quarter-final matches here Saturday.
Reigning Olympic champions Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst of Germany are seeking to become the first women’s team from European team to win a gold medal at the FIVB World Championships. Women’s pairs from Brazil (five times), the United States (four times) and China (once) have topped the podium at the previous 10 editions of the event that started in 1997 and is contested every other year on the FIVB World Tour calendar.
American April Ross will be seeking her second world championship gold medal after winning the crown in 2009 when she and Jen Kessy topped the podium in Stavanger, Norway. For Ross’ partner Lauren Fendrick, it will mark her first-ever appearance in a finale in 98 FIVB events as she is guaranteed her first FIVB medal with her previous best finishes being fourths.
On the men’s side of the competition, pairs from Austria, Brazil, Canada, The Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain and the United States are still in contention for medals. A new men’s world champion is guaranteed after 2015 winners Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt of Brazil were eliminated Friday by Canadians Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk.
The US$1-million FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships presented by A1 will feature six matches (four men and two women) Saturday at the state-of-the art venue at Donauinsel with the focal point of the action and entertainment being held with a picturesque view of the Danube River and the lively atmosphere of the Beach Village.
A total of 216 matches will be contested over a 10-day period at the world championships where the winning men’s and women’s teams will each split the $60,000 first-place prizes. The women’s medal matches will be played Saturday and the men’s Sunday. With 96 teams from 40 countries in the competition, pool play highlights the first six days of play with the featured court being the 10,000-seat Red Bull Beach Arena.