The Hague, Netherlands, June 11, 2015 - The popularity of beach volleyball is increasing around the world and ten countries are participating in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships for the first time this year. In the first in a series of articles, we take a look at four of these newcomers.El Salvador
Carlos Escobar/David Vargas, better known as Tato/Pepe, will be the first team to represent El Salvador at the World Championships. The Central American rookies will immediately face a huge challenge at the floating stadium on the Hofvijver pond in the Hague as they are due to take on highly-rated Dutch pair Reinder Nummerdor and Christiaan Varenhorst.
It will be the first tournament for Tato/Pepe outside Central and Southern America. A week after the World Championships, men's and women's beach volleyball teams from El Salvador will also participate in the Pan American Games in Toronto.Ghana
Ghana will also make a first appearance at this level when Edward Seidu Ajanako and Jonathan Scott Sarpong, also known as 'The Black Spikes', enter the fray
Ajanko, who went to college in the United States, is not only one of Ghana’s finest players, he also coaches the Ghanaian national youth teams. Last year, he travelled to the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing with two junior beach volleyball teams.
Ajanako and Sarpong are hoping to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. This year they have already managed to qualify themselves for the All Africa Games in Congo-Brazzaville.
Uruguay will be represented by Fabiana Gomez and Maria Eugenia Nieto, who will be taking part in the women's competition. The country which won the first football World Cup ever in 1930 will be participating in the Beach Volleyball World Championships for the first time. The Uruguayan women qualified for the event through the South American Beach Volleyball Tour.
Gomez (28) and Nieto (29) play most of their matches on the South American Continental Tour. In the group stage of the World Championships, they will play in Pool D in Rotterdam and will take on Holtwick/Semmler, Bonnerova/Hermannova and Olaya/Nori.Qatar
In recent years, there has been no country which has invested as much in becoming a power house in sports as Qatar. Beach volleyball is one of the sports in which the country is hoping to join the best in the world. Last season, Qatar hosted an FIVB World Tour event for the first time. This year, Qatar will be represented at the World Championships by Jefferson Santos Pereira (25) and Cherif Younousse (20).
Jefferson is originally from Brazil. He has set himself the goal of putting Qatari beach volleyball on the map. Next year, he is hoping to shine with Cherif at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the city where he was born.