From 3 to 5 June 2022, the Austrian city Innsbruck was all about beach volleyball. Already on 2 June 2022, the tournament weekend started with the official company tournament – the BeachEvent Business Cup – and the qualification for the MEVZA tournament within the Austrian win2day Beach Volleyball Tour PRO. On 3 June, the pool matches of the Innsbruck BeachEvent were on the agenda, bringing some surpring results. On 4 June, a perfect summer day, the best of 12 round and quarter final matches took place in a sold-out stadium with 750 fans, before the semifinals and finals were played on the eventful last tournament day, Sunday (5 June). Congratulations go to the winners Magdalena Rabitsch/Anja Trailovic (AUT) and Vaclav Bercik/Matyas Dzavoronok (CZE).
A beach volleyball festival in the “capital of the Alps”
For the first time, the Innsbruck BeachEvent was hosted as a MEVZA tournament. And also for the first time, it took place at Marktplatz Innsbruck right in the town centre. Without bragging, one can say that this tournament exceeded many expectations: Those of the players, who were looking forward to an international tournament, but had not expected such a fantastic backdrop in front of the Nordkette mountains. Those of the numerous fans, who celebrated a beach volleyball festival in typical Austrian manner, reminding insiders of the flair of the great World Tour tournaments in Vienna and formerly in Klagenfurt. And maybe even those of the organisers and dozens of volunteers, who proudly witnessed how their hard work and vision were rewarded. Only downer: Due to severe thunderstorms, the centre court had to be evacuated during the man’s bronze medal match between the Austrians Clemens Doppler/Thomas Kunert and the Israeli team Kevin Cuzmiciov/River Day …
Big tournament, familiar final matches
Evacuating a sold-out stadium right before the gold medal matches hurts – a lot, in fact. But: Safety first. Most importantly: Nobody got hurt, nothing was damaged. “The cancellation at the centre court came exactly at the right time and was definitely justified due to the weather forecast.”, organiser Simon Varges says. Since continuing the tournament at the centre court was not possible, the finals were spontaneously moved to side courts at Beach-WG20. An interesting and unique solution, but definitely a solution for the sport. In a small, but very familiar and emotional setting, the teams were able to play their final matches.
Women’s champions: Rabitsch/Trailovic (AUT)
The all-Austrian women’s gold medal match between Magdalena Rabitsch/Anja Trailovic and Stephanie Wiesmeyr/Eva Freiberger was a thriller in three sets. Moreover, it was a repeat of the final match of the previous Austrian PRO tournament in Graz – again with the better end for the young Carinthian girls. “We are mega happy”, the two laughed. However, the ambitious youngsters would have loved to play their match at the centre court with 750 fans cheering and live TV coverage. But those who watched them play during the tournament agree that the duo will have the opportunity to play in front of crowds in their future career – perhaps as early as this week when they will once again face international competition at the U22 European Championships. Congratulations also to the bronze medallists: The Slovakian team Lubica Siposova/Eva Elekova (seed no. 16!) showed a great performance, especially in the bronze medal match against the Czech team Anna Dostalova/Justyna Frommova.
Men’s winners: Bercik/Dzavoronok (CZE)
The quiet and familiar setting at the side court, the emergency venue for the men’s gold medal match, offered the opportunity to experience the players’ emotions up close – and there were plenty of them. In three sets against the Austrian team Florian Schnetzer/Lorenz Petutschnig, the likeable Czechs Vaclav Bercik/Matyas Dzavoronok rewarded themselves with the tournament victory: “It was a crazy day. We somehow managed it to the final and then felt really good in the last match.” The win means a lot to the newly formed team, who had been struggling in the last tournaments. In the end, they showed gratitude, above all for the tournament organisers. The following statement of Vaclav Bercik perfectly summarises the final day: “It was such a pity that the finals at the centre court were cancelled, especially for all the people working on the event. But on the other hand, at least we got to play the game, which was nice. A few people came by. It was a very interesting solution, but in the end we just played beach volleyball, I think we all had fun and it also was full of emotions.” Also the Israli team Kevin Cuzmiciov/River Day showed great emotions after defeating the Austrian legend Clemens Doppler and his new partner Thomas Kunert in their bronze medal match.
Fun fact: improvised award ceremony with singing and champagne
Even an improvised award ceremony could be carried out at the side court venue: not with hundreds of fans, but with a cordial, emotional and familiar atmosphere. Together with the organisers, referees, volunteers, family members, coaches and some sponsors and fans, the teams gave an a cappella performance of Queen’s “We are the Champions” (and the Czech team even of their national anthem), sprayed champagne and simply celebrated their emotions and love for this great sport. Especially with this ending, the MEVZA Innsbruck BeachEvent was a unique tournament that brought teams from different nations and the beach volleyball community closer together – all in all, a tournament that was a victory and a strong sign for this great sport.
Women (all results here)
- RABITSCH / TRAILOVIC, AUT
- WIESMEYR / FREIBERGER, AUT
- SIPOSOVA / ELEKOVA, SVK
Men (all results here)
- BERCIK / DZAVORONOK, CZE
- SCHNETZER / PETUTSCHNIG, AUT
- CUZMICIOV / DAY, ISR
Find all pictures of the event here.
Copyrights pictures: (c)Max Mauthner, (c)Morepikzz Fotografie