Lausanne, Switzerland – Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst may be among the more senior players on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, but the Austrian duo are showing little sign of slowing down and have already returned to action following the relaunch of the Austrian National Tour in June. Having qualified together for the London 2012 and Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games, it would be no surprise if the pair use the Austrian Tour as a launchpad to qualify for what would be their fourth Olympic Games, having played with former partners at Beijing 2008.

Doppler made his FIVB debut back in 1996, while Horst first stepped on the World Tour sand in 2003. However, it was not until early 2012 that they first featured together.
A week after London 2012 ended they were playing in their first World Tour gold medal match, where they faced London 2012 bronze medallists Janis Smedins and Martins Plavins of Latvia who maintained their remarkable run by defeating the Austrians. 
In 2015 they added another World Tour medal with bronze from the Yokohama Grand Slam, then a year later they won silver at the Porec Major. 
In 2017 they enjoyed the highlight of their career and came very close to becoming the first Austrian world champions when they went on a remarkable run to the Vienna 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships gold medal match. 
No Austrian team had won a medal, let alone topped the podium, but Doppler and Horst electrified an already vociferous crown with performances that gave them the belief that a home victory was on its way. 

?Alexander Horst (left) and Clemens Doppler of Austria with the silver medals at the 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Vienna.

Brazilians Evandro Goncalves and Andre Layola stood in their way and ultimately prevailed with a 2-0 (23-21, 22-20) victory that silenced the 10,000 crowd for a short time, but not so long when they hailed their heroes at the awarding ceremony to leave a lasting memory on the pair. 
“I get goose bumps thinking about it,” Doppler said in 2019. “The memories are still fresh because it was our best tournament. It still hurts that we had the chance to win and didn’t, but the whole ride, the 10 days were just magical. 

“From the first and second game on we got in this flow. Everybody talks about this flow, but I had never experienced it. Since then I know what it feels like to ride on the wave. It was such a pleasure to play in such a stadium, packed and I think that made the difference to other tournaments we’ve played.”

Look out for more video highlights from the Austrians’ career as we feature Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst as our Team of the Week.

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