Seeded 12th in the competition, Doppler and Horst will challenge sixth-seeded Viacheslav Krasilnikov/Nikita Liamin of Russia in Sunday’s second semi-final with the winner playing either fourth-seeded Evandro Goncalves/Andre Loyola of Brazil or 45th-seeded Maarten van Garderen/Christiaan Varenhorst of the Netherlands for the gold medal.
In addition to their abilities on the sand, Doppler credits the Austrian fans in help his team win. “(The fans) do everything. I mean, we have a strategy, we have a game plan, how we want to play against the teams and then you step out on the court and you see over 10,000 people screaming for you. They are just pushing it to the limit 100 percent and it helps to win those tight games.”
Following the morning semi-finals, the men’s medal matches will be contested in the afternoon in the US$1-million event that started July 28 and ends Sunday. The women’s title was decided Saturday where reigning Olympic champions Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst of Germany won the gold medal by defeating Americans Lauren Fendrick and April Ross in the three-set finale.
The FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships presented by A1 is being staged 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 96 men’s and women’s teams from 40 countries started the competition July 28 and concludes with the winning teams sharing the $60,000 first-place prizes. The event is the next-to-last event on the 2017 international calendar with the campaign ending August 23-27 when Germany hosts the SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals in Hamburg.