Olympic champs ready to begin as FIVB World Championships start Friday

Vienna, Austria, July 27, 2017 - A busy Friday will get the action going in Vienna as the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships Presented by A1 gets off to a flying start with a full slate of matches.

The US$1-million event opens with a 28-match schedule, being played on three courts at the state-of-the art venue at Donauinsel. The focal point of the action and entertainment will be held with a picturesque view of the Danube River and the lively atmosphere of the Beach Village.

A total of 216 matches will be played over a 10-day period at the 11th edition of 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 August 5 and the men’s August 6.

Alison and Bruno, the reigning Olympic champions, begin defense of their title Saturday as the fifth-seeded Brazilians meet 44th-seeded Aldevino Nguvo/Justino Tovela of Mozambique in a Pool E match. Alison and Bruno are seeking to become the first men's team to win back-to-back World Championship titles.

“We want to defend our crown and remain among the best,” said Alison, who also captured a World Championship gold medal in 2011 with Emanuel Rego. “It’s a great opportunity to be part of history. We have won a lot of tournaments during the last three years and our team feeds from these kinds of challenges. That’s how we work as a team. We’re really excited and motivated and looking forward to it.”

The 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships presented by A1 opens Friday at 10.00 (local time) with two side court matches. The men's opening match features 19th-seeded Dries Koekelkoren/Tom van Walle of Belgium meeting Rihards Finsters/Edgars Tocs of Latvia in Pool F. The first women's contest is a Pool G match between seventh-seeded Melissa Humana-Paredes/Sarah Pavan of Canada and 42nd-seeded Manon Nummerdor-Flier/Marleen Van Iersel of the Netherlands.

With 96 teams from 40 countries in the competition, pool play will highlight the first six days of play. The featured court will be the 10,000-seat Red Bull Beach Arena, where competition will begin at 12.00 on Friday when 4th-seeded Evandro Goncalves/Andre Loyola of Brazil meet 45th-seeded Maarten van Garderen/Christiaan Varenhorst of the Netherlands in a Pool D match.

Both Evandro and Varenhorst captured medals at the 2015 FIVB World Championships in the Netherlands, where the Dutch player and his partner Reindeer Nummerdor defeated the Brazilian and his former teammate Pedro Solberg in a three-set semifinal match. Varenhorst and Nummerdor dropped the gold medal finale to Brazilians Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt after Evandro and Solberg claimed the bronze medal with a win over Americans Theo Brunner and Nick Lucena.

With Austria hosting the World Championships for the second time with the first being 2001 in Klagenfurt, the 2017 event will reach 100 countries around the world courtesy of over 500 accredited journalists, with 27 TV outlets broadcasting 1,234 hours of coverage.


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