Dutch dreams being built in Florida sun

The Hague, the Netherlands, February 13, 2015 – With the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships The Netherlands 2015 being hosted in their country, the Netherlands’ beach volleyball players are preparing for what is sure to be a huge year for them across the Atlantic Ocean in Florida. 

The Dutch players have turned their backs on the cold of a north European winter to prepare in the best way possible for the highlight of this year’s FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, which runs from June 26-July 5 in The Hague, Amsterdam, Apeldoorn and Rotterdam. 

“We’ve already spent three weeks in sunny Florida,” Madelein Meppelink said. “There have been two occasions when tropical downpours have interrupted our training sessions, but as we are Dutch, we are used to rain. 

“The first two weeks flew by. In the first week it was all new, but by the second we found our rhythm and carried that on into the third week. For some of our training group this is the first time they have trained in camp for a month, so it takes them some getting used to as in the past it has been two weeks and then we’ve gone home.”

Meppelink and partner Marlene van Iersel enjoyed an impressive first season together. They ended the 2014 season with bronze medals from the Moscow and Sao Paolo Grand Slams and also claimed gold at the CEV European Beach Volleyball Championships in Sardinia. 

While they are the home favourites in the women’s competition, there is little doubt who the Dutch fans will be rooting for in the men’s. Two years ago Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen came from nowhere to win the men’s gold in Stare Jablonki, having set their main aim for the season as a quarter final in one tournament. 

It means that both teams will need to be in the best shape possible as they are sure to be the centre of attention when the tournament begins. 

“We have the chance to relax and work on our tans at the pool, but we don’t get the chance that often as we are training so much,” Meppelink said. “We also visit the physio, plan strategy with our coaches and bond as a team. 

“The best thing about the camp is that there are no distractions, which you don’t get at home when little things always crop up. So here we are able to focus on our training much more and ultimately that is our focus here.”


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