Baden, Austria. After the confirmation earlier this week that the iconic Strandbad venue is due to host a double-gender World Tour event in late August (click here), Austrian Beach Volleyball fans can start looking forward to another highlight. Shortly after completion of the Baden Open, the spa resort in the outskirts of Vienna will be playing host to the Austrian national championship as well, with the competition running from August 28 to 30.
Robin Seidl/Philipp Waller (pictured above) and Katharina Schützenhöfer/Lena Plesiutschnig are the defending men’s and women’s national champions. At this stage, however, it remains uncertain whether Lena and Katharina will be able to defend their title in Baden or not. “With Lena, I would love to play in Baden to keep our national title from last year. However, due to my shoulder surgery in April, this tournament will unfortunately come too early for me and it is unlikely that I will be able to compete there. Nevertheless, I do not rule out my participation 100%, because I am already doing well and the rehabilitation process is going according to plan,” Schützenhöfer said.
With their victory at the HYPO NOE Champions Cup, the beach twins Teresa and Nadine Strauss are among the favourites for the women’s gold medal and national crown.
Home heroes – as they play for the local Baden Beach Volleyball Club – Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst have something to make up for after losing in the semis of the HYPO NOE Champions Cup to eventual winners Seidl/Waller.
“It is cool that national championships will be taking place. Baden is a great location. Now that we have started a winning streak, we want it to continue and win all of our matches at the national championship as well,” Seidl commented. “The depth in terms of quality teams in Austria is increasing. It has become much more difficult to succeed, and it takes a consistently high level of performance to achieve good results. We will prepare ourselves to defend the title we won last year.”
Partner Philipp Waller: “I am really happy about the double header in Baden and with the fact that despite the coronavirus crisis, we are still able to contest some events this year. It is good that our national championship will be taking place before EuroBeachVolley. There are many good teams in Austria, all are motivated and well prepared. Everyone wants to win, of course. I am looking forward to two cool tournaments in Baden.”
Gernot Leitner, President of the Austrian Volleyball Federation: “Despite the pandemic, a summer without a national championship was never an option and we also could see a high level of interest from the potential organisers. The ‘total package’ offered by Baden prevailed among three candidates and therefore, the national championship will be taking place in a World Tour set up. For the players, it is obviously a great thing to look forward to in this somehow shortened summer.”