Rotterdam, the Netherlands, June 26, 2015 – As the fourth largest port of the world, the city of Rotterdam could not have chosen a more appropriate setting for the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships. The 2,000-seat stadium is located on the Third Katendrecht Dock, in front of the world famous, 57-year-old line cruiser SS Rotterdam.
The city has another feature that will attract a lot of fans; reigning world champions Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen. The Dutch giants surprised everyone by winning the gold medal two years ago in Poland, had an injury-filled 2014 season, but are on a roll this year, collecting three medals - gold in Porec and silver in Lucerne and Fuzhou - so far.
Brouwer and Meeuwsen are currently the top ranked team on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, but will definitely be challenged by European champions Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo from Italy for the top position in Pool E. This big pool clash will happen on Monday June 29 at 20.00.
Other men’s teams to watch out for in Rotterdam are Stavanger champions Pedro Solberg and Evandro Goncalves from Brazil in Pool L and Poland’s Grzegorz Fijalek and Mariusz Prudel who will face Porec silver medallists Josh Binstock and Sam Schachter in Pool D (Tuesday June 30 at 20.00).German veterans and Canadian wild card
Leading the women’s field in Rotterdam are German veterans Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler (ranked 4th). This is their fourth world championship and they are the favourites to win Pool D. Italy’s Marta Menegatti and Vicky Orsi Toth will seek to top Pool L after winning bronze in Moscow.
In Pool E Kristyna Kolocova and Marketa Slukova are the highest ranked team (5th), but the Czechs will have to be on the lookout for Jamie Lynn Broder and Kristina Valjas (Sunday June 28 at 15.00). The Canadian pair won the Fuzhou Open and took the bronze in Lucerne this season, which earned them a wildcard for the Netherlands after China’s reigning world champion Chen Xue and new partner Xinyi Xia had to withdraw due to injury.Katendrecht
The Rotterdam stadium is located on the Katendrecht peninsula, situated between the Rijn and Maas harbours. The peninsula also featured 160 pubs on only 1,2 square kilometres, to see to every sailor’s needs.
At the end of the previous century the city council started renovating the Katendrecht area and now it’s one of the safest neighbourhoods. The impressive steam ship Rotterdam has been moored at the head of the peninsula since 2008, serving as a hotel and conference centre.
The SS Rotterdam is 228 metres long, 28 metres wide, 61 metres high and features 254 rooms. Built in 1958, it was the flag ship of the transatlantic Holland America Line. It served for more than forty years as a liner and a cruise ship and was renovated recently, leaving most original details intact.
Architectural capital of the Netherlands
Rotterdam is the second largest city of the Netherlands, with 600,000 inhabitants. The city is known as the architectural capital of the Netherlands. Rotterdam was bombed at the beginning of World War II (May 14 1940) to force the Dutch army to capitulate.
After the war the city was rebuilt, using innovative architecture. Rotterdam is known for it’s impressive skyline and landmarks like the cube shaped houses, the Euromast observation tower and the swan-like curve of the Erasmus Bridge.
Rotterdam is also a very sport minded city. It is the hometown of Feyenoord Football Club, hosted the start of the 2010 Tour de France and also stages the Rotterdam Marathon, the biggest running event in the Netherlands. The ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Ahoy ranks among the most popular indoor tennis tournaments on the ATP Tour.