The Hague, Netherlands, May 15, 2015 - The World Champs Beach Blog is your weekly update of news ahead of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships The Netherlands 2015.
Kiwi’s start European tour
For New Zealand players Mike Watson and Sam O’Dea the Lucerne Open this week, marks the beginning of a European journey of two months with the World Championships as a climax.
The team is playing three events in Switzerland first before traveling to Germany,
“We have been invited to train with the German national team. We have also applied for two Wild Cards into German national tour events, which we are hoping to play.”
Watson and O’Dea play their group matches in Amsterdam. In the pool phase they will meet number 1 ranked team Sean Rosenthal and Phil Dalhausser. Coming through the pool is the first objective, but in the knock out rounds anything should is possible, the Kiwis think.
“Our goal for the tournament is a top 10 finish, which would get the attention of our national funding body, High Performance Sport New Zealand. It will be a tough task for us, but we love a challenge.”
Opening The Hague Beach Stadium
In the coming days the Dutch beach volleyball teams will train in the The Hague Beach Stadium for the first time this year. The summer training location of the national team opens this weekend.
In the past few weeks the Dutch teams already trained on the beaches of Scheveningen, next to the stadium.
In the last few years the The Hague Beach Stadium was host of the FIVB World Tour. In 2013 and 2014 the transavia grand slam was played at the venue and in 2012 the stadium hosted the European Championships.
On Friday the stadium will be officially opened with a glow run over five kilometer distance along the beach. 2000 participants will take part in the run, all wearing glow in the dark accessories and covered with neon paint.
This is what the start of the glow run looked like last year:
Dutch teams close in on Olympic berth
Obviously the main focus of the Dutch teams is on the World Championships on home soil, this season. Yet, the Rio Olympics loom large on the horizon. Last week an important step was made towards qualification for the Olympic Games. Both the men’s and women’s teams won the Continental Cup in Cyprus and qualified for the Final Phase in 2016.
At their return in the Netherlands the success was celebrated with marshmallows.