At Majori beach in Jūrmala on Thursday, the European beach volleyball championship for Tīna Graudiņa and Anastasia Kravčenoka is scheduled to fight for the quarterfinals, but for six Latvian men’s duets – in the fight group tournament.
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In the morning, the men’s duo will finish in the battle group tournament in Jūrmala, but then the first two rounds of the game for volleyball players will take place.
European ex-champions will compete for the first place in the group in the first square Jānis Šmēdiņš a Alexander Samoilov (posted in the tournament with number 16) and Mārtiņš Pļaviņš /Edgars Točs (4.).
The opponents of Šmēdiņa / Samoilov will be the main favorites of the tournament, the Norwegian Annešs Mūls and Kristians Sērums, at 12 noon, but the Austrian veterans Aleksandrs Horsts and Klemens Doplers (20th) will face Pļaviņš and Točs at 13.20.
Four Latvian pairs will fight for the third place in the group and the right to continue the competition on Friday.
At 9 am Arnis Reliņš / Ardis Bedrītis (31st) will meet in the first square with the French duo Kinsijs E and Arno Gotjē-Ra (18th), at 9.50 am Mihails Samoilovs and Aleksandrs Solovejs (30.) will meet the Polish duo Mihals Brils / Mikolajs Miščuks (19.).
Two Latvian couples are scheduled to fight in the fourth square. At 12.30 Mārcis Jirgensons and Rinalds Aišpurs (27th) will meet with the Germans Philip Bergman and Lukas Pfrecšner (22nd), but at 13.20 the debut of Matiss Gabdullin and Arturs Rinkevich (24th) is scheduled for the King of the Court prize winners last week in the Dutch city of Utrecht for the Swiss Mark Kratiger and Florian Beerer (25th).
Gabdulin failed to perform the Covid-19 test in time. Therefore, on Wednesday, the duo was not allowed into the first game of the group, in which the Latvians lost 0-2 (0:21, 0:21) against the European former champions Pablo Erers and Adrian Gavir (9th).
At 10.45, the elimination matches are scheduled to start for women. Whether that happens will also depend on the weather, as Thursday weather forecasters promise cool, windy and rainy.
Out of three Latvian duos, only one remains in the ranks – European champions Tīna Graudiņa a Anastasia Kravchenoka (5.), who will start the fight as the group winner in the second round of the playoffs. Their opponents will be determined in a game where Italians Marta Menegati and Victoria Orsi Tota (11th) will meet with Russian athletes Maria Bocharov and Maria Voronin (19th).
This time in a group tournament, each team does not play with everyone. The winners of the first game determine the winner in the group, who immediately enters the second round of the playoffs, and the losers – in the continuation of the “excess” team competition.
The European Beach Volleyball Championship in Jūrmala takes place from September 15 to 20. The tournament for 32 pairs of men and women brings together the best European men’s beach volleyball duets from 15 countries and women’s pairs from 13 countries.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the tournament is eligible for one of the strongest tournaments of the season in terms of status in the world.
The main contenders for the women’s tournament are the Swiss – Tanja Hübler / Nina Becart and Joan Heidrich / Anuka Verge-Depré, the Olympic champion Laura Ludviga from Germany, who plays with Margaret Kozuh, and Sanne Kaizere and Madeleine Mepelinka from the Netherlands Hermanova. The current champions are Graudiņa with Kravčenok.
In the men’s competition, the title is defended by the world-leading leaders from Moscow, Annešs Mūls and Kristians Serums, who won in Moscow. World champions from Russia Vyacheslav Krasilnikov and Oleg Stoyanovsky want to win, world vice-champions from Germany Julius Tole and Clemens Wickler, world champions – Dutch duo Alexander Brower / Robert Erzwo Adrian Gavira, as well as other powerful foreign duos.
Although the Olympic rankings related to the Covid-19 pandemic were frozen on March 16 this year, the European Championship is traditionally one of the tournaments in which teams compete for Olympic ranking points.
Volleyball players also compete for a total prize pool of 200,000 euros.