Baden, Austria. The waiting is almost over. In a couple of days only, starting with the country quota matches on Wednesday, international Beach Volleyball competition will return to Baden – this time with the Weilburgpark due to host the FIVB World Tour BADEN OPEN presented by SPORT.LAND.NÖ. A press conference attended by the top Austrian teams and representatives of the Organising Committee set the tone on Monday for a much-anticipated week filled with Beach Volleyball action of the finest level.
“Baden has made a great development and it is hard to imagine life without it. The audience loves the sport and brings a great atmosphere to the centre court,” said Clemens Doppler. “We obviously hope for a normal tournament calendar next year. Baden sends a positive signal to motivate other organisers.”
After securing silver earlier this month in Ljubljana, Doppler and partner Alexander Horst will be vying for a third straight title in Baden. “We are coming to Baden as defending champions and, despite the strong field of participants, want to finish the tournament at the top of the standing. Unfortunately, we find it difficult to plan the season, as there are hardly any international tournaments. Thanks to brave organisers such as those in Baden, we can compete internationally,” added Horst.
Lena Plesiutschnig is back in Baden after claiming gold last year with Katharina Schützenhöfer, who is still recovering from shoulder surgery. “We can play without pressure – our goal is to challenge the strong competition,” said Lena, who earlier this month finished at the top of the charts in a stop of the Austrian national tour with interim partner Dorina Klinger. “The women’s starting field is sensational, since the best European teams are here. For us it is important that we concentrate on our game and act strongly in the side-out. Then, we have our chances. The big goal would definitely be a top 5 result,” Klinger commented.
“The atmosphere in Baden is always great. We are well prepared and look forward to a superbly organised tournament,” said Austrian national champion Robin Seidl.
“My wrist injury is under control, so we want to continue the good performance from the Champions Cup,” added Nadine Strauss, who is due to play alongside twin sister Teresa.
Philipp Seel, Secretary General of the Austrian Volleyball Federation (ÖVV): “It is important for our national teams to get back into competition rhythm as early as possible to be ready for the upcoming important tasks such as the Olympic qualification and the European Championship. At the national level, the HYPO NOE Champions Cup and the Austrian Beachvolleyball Tour Pro have accounted for a quick return to competition despite the pandemic. Thanks to the commitment of the organisers in Baden, there is now also the opportunity for our teams to compete with top international opposition. That can be an important advantage. A successful event like the BADEN OPEN will also be a positive example of how international Beach Volleyball events held under ‘Corona conditions’ can run – which further increases the good reputation of Beach Volleyball events in Austria and will hopefully lead to the delivery of further tournaments soon.”
Dominik Gschiegl, organiser and promoter at Vision05: “We are pleased that, despite the challenging conditions, we have succeeded in getting Beach Volleyball up and running in 2020. With the BADEN OPEN and the Austrian Beach Volleyball State Championships, we organise two top tournaments and are happy that we can make our contribution to promote Beach Volleyball. Everyone’s safety stands for us at the top.”
There are only a maximum of 200 visitors allowed at the event area at the same time. International participants must have a negative COVID-19 test. There will be a mobile test station as well and strict hygiene measures in place.
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