After a solid week of rain and storms across Europe, Klagenfurt has once again turned it up to put on it’s very best weather for the start of the 2012 FIVB Swatch Beach Volleyball Grand Slam!
Qualification has finished for both the men’s and the women’s. Kirk Pitman and Jason Lochhead have broken through to the main draw fairly comfortably with some help from some enthusiastic, if slightly inebriated, supporters including 3 time Olympian and 12 time Australian Champion Julien Prosser. Other qualifiers to note are Brinkborg-Gunnarsson SWE, (Stefan Gunnerson is still clearly leading the field in this season best beard competition). Sidorenko-Dyachenko KAZ also crept in with a hard fought win over Hoidalen-Hordvik NOR – 18-16 in the third set.
In the women’s tournament we are past qualification and into the main draw.
Angie Akers and Brittany Hochevar USA cruised through the qualifiers but found themselves a little out of their depth in a pool with Schwaiger D.-Schwaiger S. AUT and Bawden-Palmer AUS , losing their first two pool games, but there are some funny things happening in the pool, with the Schwaigers then losing to Forrer-Vergé-Dépré SUI so a convincing win tomorrow might still be enough for the USA team to progress. The Aussie girls Bawden-Palmer are sitting on two wins, and playing great ball.
Cook-Hinchley AUS have won one and lost one in their pool, and Austrian Wild Card Rimser-Swoboda AUT came close to winning their second match, going down 16-14 in the third set against Kayser-Heidrich of Switzerland.
Today I am hoping to catch up with Austrian Simon Nausch, head coach of the Czech women’s team, Australian Victor Anfiloff, Head Coach of the Dutch team and maybe if we are very lucky, a quick chat with big Jules.