Snow Volleyball

Austria and Türkiye claim top spots at European Tour stop in Wagrain


Article Mon, Mar 27 2023

Teams from Austria and Türkiye were the winners of the CEV Snow Volleyball European Tour event held this past weekend at the ‘cradle’ of the sport, Wagrain, in the Austrian Alps. This was unfortunately the only major international event held this winter following the cancellation of other tournaments due to the devastating earthquakes that hit southern Türkiye in early February.

Two teams from Austria topped the men's podium in Wagrain

Team Austria 2 (Alexander ‘Xandi’ Huber/Felix Friedl/Moritz Nedetzky/Timo Hammarberg) defeated Austria 1 (Moritz Kindl/Mathias Seiser/Florian Schnetzer) 2-0 (15-12, 15-11) in the men’s final to claim gold. Kindl and Seiser, who are Austria’s reigning Beach Volleyball national champions, and their partner Schnetzer, made it to the podium in Wagrain for the second straight year after finishing third in 2022. Last year’s gold medallists, Jan Mrkous/Frantisek Pihera/Tadeas Trousil of Czechia, had to be content with third place this time.

“This was a mega-event, simply super cool. Thanks to everyone who made this possible. We experienced everything this weekend, from bad weather to sunshine. We are looking forward to coming back."

Felix Friedl
An all-Austrian men's final was a real delight for the audience in Wagrain

Although the Czechs had to settle for third place this time after winning gold last year, they were still overjoyed. The trio delighted the audience with a small dance routine after scoring points. “You need to create a lively atmosphere on the court in front of such fans. Then, a lot of energy comes back from the stands too. We love this game, and it was just incredible," said bronze medalist Jan Mrkous.

In the women’s tournament, Türkiye (Merve Celebi/Simge Yalcin/Seray Gurle/Esra Betul Cetin) won the championship title by defeating Romania (Roxana Bacsis/Ioana Hoodi/Ioana Miu/Hana Poleac) 2-1 (15-11, 6-15, 15-6) in the final. Lithuania (Lilija Firinovic/Diana Kancerevyciene/Vlada Oganauskiene) claimed the bronze medal.

Quite naturally, the women’s champions were thrilled.

“We are extremely happy to have won the title. We lost control in the second set of the final, but it was a great event, and the weather today was perfect.”

Simge Yalcin
Teams from Türkiye and Romania contested the women's finale

The semifinals and medal matches took place on Sunday, with occasional blue skies and sunshine providing a stunning backdrop for the athletes competing on the courts located at the Flying Mozart station at an altitude of 1,850 meters. The players delivered a real show for the large audience in attendance, and the atmosphere was further amplified by the live commentary and DJs. The fans were particularly enthusiastic during the all-Austrian men’s final, and both teams received fervent support against the awe-inspiring mountain scenery.

However, Sunday’s event was not only about elite sport. At noon, the Flying Bulls displayed a spectacular parachute and helicopter show over the courts. Additionally, there was a celebrity game featuring Beach Volleyball vice world champion Clemens Doppler and an amateur tournament organised by the Salzburg Chamber of Commerce.

Including the qualifiers, 41 teams from 16 nations participated in the CEV Snow Volleyball European Tour stop in Wagrain-Kleinarl, not only from Europe but also from other regions. A trio from Uruguay participated but missed out on the men’s main draw. The main draw featured twelve teams for both the women’s and men’s competitions.