The Swatch World Championships are now underway and it is going to be a hell of a week to remember. I tried to get tickets for the event but unfortunately things didn’t work out. But it seems like the volleyball gods are being kind to us at the moment, as it has been announced that all (or almost all) of the matches will be available to watch from day one.
The last tournament was back in 2009 in Stavanger and it really does seem like an eternity ago since Kessy-Ross (women) and Brink-Reckermann (men) won the tournament. I am going to sit on the fence this year and not predict a favourite. The competition really is intense at the moment in both the women’s and the men’s and it will most definitely be a perfect advert for the sport of volleyball and it comes straight after the Beijing Grand Slam, continuing a really busy period of volleyball. I mentioned I was going to try and get up early to watch all of the tournament, as was probably expected I didn’t manage it, it was just too god damn early! I caught the final which Alison and Emanuel won while still half asleep sipping on my coffee, and I was able to watch the rest on demand which helped make me feel less guilty for not waking up to watch it all live. If you are feeling as guilty as me for letting the sandman keep you in bed rather than support the sport then don’t worry, you can watch it all here
So, lets brush the sand out of those difficult to reach areas and return indoors. There was plenty of action on show from the World and European Leagues as usual online this weekend and I decided to concentrate on the Eurozone on Friday night to watch my country Great Britain play Slovenia. We may not be world famous for volleyball but there may be signs that the sport which has up to now been frowned upon by us football loving people is starting to be taken a little more seriously. The upcoming Olympics is playing a major part in this with minority sports being given much more funding than they used to. Despite this increased interest it doesn’t change the fact that we are lingering bottom of pool A with only 2 wins from 6 games and were pretty awful in our matches against Slovenia, but hey, what can you expect when we have cricket, rugby, darts, snooker and polo to concentrate on! Given the fact that we have over 105 perfectly managed beaches, maybe we should start concentrating on our beach vb! In the World League Finland once again failed to do me proud after I bigged them up so much in my last two articles, the gulf in class was simply too large against Argentina in the end and they were easily beaten, shame. They face Serbia again in their next matches… This weeks “match of the week” is a volleyball match up between two footballing heavyweights (please excuse my constant footballing comparisons but I love me the football as much as volleyball). France take on Italy in Pool D with both teams in very different situations. Les Bleus have just one point and have lost all six of their games (even Finland are doing better than that). Italy have won all 6 and have already beaten France twice already. Even an underdog lover like me would be silly to bet against Italia in that one. The game starts at 20.30 CET on the 18th of june on FIVB web tv.
We are going to stick with Italy this week as we scour the t’interweb for volleyball based websites. This week it is the homepage of Greta Cicolari, she has been described as a “rising athlete” by her representative (if she wasn’t described this way then it would be pretty bloody poor PR) but her recent triumph in Myslowice finishing second along with other eye-catching performances has put her and Marta Menegatti in the top 10. Check out her site, aesthetically it is not the greatest, but it is worth taking a look at to find out a big about her, She is currently in the AERONAUTICA MILITARE, not bad. Check them out on Facebook as well. Remember, if you have any sites you know of then spread the love! Ciao for now!