After a short winter break we open up our 2013 beach volleyball news section with an update about the Swatch-FIVB World Tour calendar. The revolutionary ideas of the new FIVB President Ary Graca in both outdoor and indoor forms of the game are being already implemented as of January.
The FIVB World Tour Council plans to increase the number of events on the sand for the new 2013 season. This will partially result from a reduction of approval criteria for FIVB Open events. Thus, a larger number of Opens is being considered to accompany the core Grand Slam tournaments. The criteria reduction would theoretically enable countries, such as Peru, Qatar and Uganda, to bid hosting of Open-ranked tournaments for the first time in history, whereas USA might return to the World Tour schedule since it last appeared on it back in 2004. Of course, the broader format means extending the time calendar, which, upon approval, would stretch from March to December and would include events on all continents. The Continental Cup, which involved 149 countries in a two-year Olympic qualification period, lays the foundations for a successful World Tour global expansion.
Reigning Olympic champion quits
Less than half a year after clinching gold in London with his partner Julius Brink in an epic final versus Emanuel-Alison from Brazil, the tall German player Jonas Reckermann had to announce his galling decision to quit his professional career. The reasons are purely physical – his constant back problems prevent him from training and playing regularly at highest level. It was his shoulder causing him problems at the beginning of the 2012 season, but Reckermann recovered from the injury and along with Brink found his best shape just in time to grab the Olympic gold in August.
“The decision was difficult, due to various reasons, but you cannot buy health and in the end health comes first,” said Reckermann. “I am thankful to everyone who helped me experience a long and successful beach volleyball career.”
“I really regret this because this year would undoubtedly have become interesting, but I entirely understand this step,” remarked his partner Julius Brink.
The current training partner of Brink – Sebastian Fuchs, will be the one to fill in Reckermann’s shoes. How successful the new team, coached by Markus Dieckmann, Stefan Huebner and Hans Voigt, will be, we will figure out pretty soon.
Circuito Banco do Brasil
We finish today’s report with an overview of what happened in warm Brazil days before Christmas when the last domestic event of Circuito Banco do Brasil for 2012 took place in Rio de Janeiro from 6th till 9th December. Pedro Solberg and Bruno Oscar Schmidt repeated their earlier triumphs from Goiania in September, and recently in Campinas and Curitiba to make it three in a row. The in-form Pedro-Bruno won the final against the duo Moises-Oscar in straight sets (21-12, 21-18). The bronze remained for Evandro and Vitor Felipe who outplayed Emanuel and Alison also in two sets (21-17, 21-15).