News

30/05/2017 15:05
Austria set sights on a medal at #EuroBeachVolleyU22 on home sand
2017 CEV U22 Beach Volleyball European Championship

Baden, Austria, May 30, 2017. The Austrian city of Baden will be hosting in about two weeks’ time the 2017 edition of the CEV U22 Beach Volleyball European Championship. Head coach Stefan Hömberg, who has been working for many years with the Austrian youth and junior national teams, looks ahead with quite some optimism.

“The competition is very strong and this applies to both the men’s and the women’s tournaments. We know our opponents very well though. The teams from Norway, Russia, France, Ukraine, Germany, Poland and Spain have a slight advantage compared to our men’s tandems,” he said.

Moritz Pristauz (pictured) and Paul Buchegger will carry the Austrian hopes of home glory in Baden. “Moritz is a full-grown professional and has proven himself last year with his regular partner Martin Ermacora, competing in Baden and Klagenfurt as well. This is not surprising since Moritz is last year’s U22 European silver medallist and won a silver medal at the U18 European Championship with Paul Buchegger four years ago,” Hömberg continues. Buchegger will be playing indoors with the Austrian men’s national team only four days before the start of the U22 tournament in Baden. “We will see what is possible, but I would not rule anything out. The main goal in this year’s tournament, however, is to win a medal.”

Felix Friedl/Lucas Skrabal, a team supported by the Austrian Volleyball Federation and which has been training within the national team programme, will represent the host country in Baden as well together with Moritz Kindl/Marian Klaffender, who last year finished ninth at the U20 European Championship and have since developed a lot, individually and as a team as well.

“As for the women’s competition, I feel like teams from Latvia, Belarus, France, Russia and Germany are the favourites to win a medal. We are not in the same good position as with our men’s teams,” Hömberg said. The current plan is to have Julia Radl and Franziska Friedl as Austria’s no. 1 team for the competition in Baden. “Julia had actually retired from competitive sport after achieving some good results at junior level, but we have been able to bring her back for this U22 European Championship to support Franziska Friedl, who has been playing Beach Volleyball on a professional level for only one year but already made great progress,” the coach continues. Radl, inter alia, finished fifth at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China together with former partner Mona Gesslbauer.

“We are aiming at a top 10 finish with this duo. ‘Austria 2’ is almost equally as strong and consists of Dorina and Ronja Klinger, who are siblings. Dorina played in the highest US college Beach Volleyball league for Florida International University in winter and spring. The Klingers will play in Baden their first international competition together representing the Austrian Volleyball Federation. However, Ronja already finished in ninth place at the U18 European Championship last year. Team Austria 3 is composed of Sophie Weber and Marilena Preiml. These two are definitely good for a positive surprise and their main goal is to make it through the pool stage and progress to the elimination round.”

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