11/07/2018 10:00
#EuroBeachVolley - Europe’s elite to come together in the Netherlands
2018 CEV DELA Beach Volleyball European Championship

Luxembourg, July 11, 2018. The very best Beach Volleyball teams in Europe – including the full podium from the 2017 edition held in Jurmala, Latvia – will soon be taking to the court in the Netherlands for the 2018 CEV DELA Beach Volleyball European Championship. Italy’s Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo are the reigning European champions and despite a fairly low-profile season this far, they will be trying to secure their fourth continental crown in five years.

Lupo and Nicolai finished second at the Fort Lauderdale Major back in March but have ever since struggled a bit, with a couple of ninth places in Ostrava and Warsaw to their name. However, the Italians will be a force to reckon with – as they very much hope to retain the title that they won last year in Jurmala.

On the other hand, last year’s silver medal winners Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins of Latvia have been improving from tournament to tournament – and they just won gold at the 4-Star event in Espinho. They will be trying to secure their second European crown – after winning gold in 2015 in Klagenfurt, to go with the silver medals they claimed from the 2013, 2014 and 2017 editions of #EuroBeachVolley. Janis Smedins has a bronze medal to his name as well – a feat he achieved in 2010 with former partner Martins Plavins.

Home favourites and Olympic bronze medal winners Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen are certainly among the ‘hottest’ candidates for the podium too. Last year they won their first European medal when clinching bronze in Jurmala – and with the support of the home crowd, they are obviously hungry for more.

Apart from the 2017 medallists, there are many more teams to watch closely, including Norway’s rising stars Anders Berntsen Mol/Christian Sandlie Sørum, who last year lost in the quarterfinals to Lupo/Nicolai but have tremendously progressed since the summer of 2017. Russia have a number of medal contenders as well – starting with Viacheslav Krasilnikov/Nikita Liamin to continue with Oleg Stoyanovskiy/Igor Velichko, winners of gold and silver this season in Xiamen and Doha. Spain’s veterans Pablo Herrera/Adrian Gavira are among the potential candidates for a spot on the podium as well – as much as Poland’s Bartosz Losiak/Piotr Kantor, winners of the 4-Star event in Warsaw in early July, who have never made it to the podium at the ‘senior’ European Championship this far.

The other Dutch teams as well as Belgium’s Dries Koekelkoren/Tom van Walle will be hoping to cause a surprise – while Stefan Basta/Lazar Kolaric will make history by becoming Serbia’s first team ever to compete in the European Championship.

Click here for further information.

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