Novi Sad Masters concludes with German duo on top of the podium
2012 CEV Beach Volleyball European Championship - Novi Sad Masters
Novi Sad, Serbia, July 8, 2012. Germany’s Thomas Kaczmarek and Alexander Walkenhorst scored on Sunday afternoon a speedy 2:0 win (21-16, 21-18) as they played Jan Hadrava and Robert Kufa of the Czech Republic in the final match of the Novi Sad Masters, third stop of this year’s CEV Beach Volleyball European Championship. The event was hosted by the Volleyball Federation of Serbia and its general sponsor, the “Vip mobile” company, in the splendid scenario of Strand beach, right on the banks of the Danube. The bronze medal was claimed by Spain’s Francisco Alfredo Marco and Christian Garcia who got past Xandi Huber and Robin Seidl of Austria (21-16, 21-14) in the classification match.
Kaczmarek/Walkenhorst had finished only ninth last year in Novi Sad but this time travel back home with a check of 5’000 € and 600 CEV ranking points to re-assert their ambition to turn into one of the major forces to reckon with in the next Olympic quadrennial. They actually had started their campaign as the third-seeded pair of the Main Draw cruising to the final match without losing any game and they eventually got the upper hand also against that young and surprising Czech duo. “It is really warm here, much more than in our home country, and we needed some time to adjust to these boiling temperatures, but we finally got acquainted with such demanding conditions and claimed the first place in the standings” said a visibly happy Alexander Walkenhorst. “Well, this tournament is just amazing, the local organizers are doing an outstanding job and the crowd was always very supportive” he added.
Austria’s Huber/Seidl missed out once again on a medal in Novi Sad as they had done last year, settling again for the fourth place after losing the classification match to Marco/Garcia, another real revelation of the competition as the Spaniards had embarked on their adventure after finishing 25th in 2011 and being pre-seeded as the number eight of the Main Draw.
The official awards ceremony took place with the unique background provided by the local sunset as the medals were presented by Mr. Ivan Ferko on behalf of the city of Novi Sad. CEV Jury President Maris Pekalis, together with Mr. Nenad Golijanin and Slobodan Milosevic, First Vice President and Secretary General of the Volleyball Federation of Serbia respectively, was also there to award the cups to the top three teams of the competition, while the relevant checks were presented by Andreas Graf, Board member of the “Vip mobile” company.
Over the past 5 days the city of Novi Sad once again proved to be a perfect host to a prestigious CEV Beach Volleyball tournament and lived up to its fame as real Volleyball “Mecca”. The fans filled up the stands to full capacity throughout the weekend cheering loudly on some of Europe’s best players. A great applause was also deserved to over 350 pupils mentored by Vladimir Grbic, a real legend of Serbian Volleyball, who introduced these kids to the sport via a series of clinics whereby Serbia hopes to “scout” the next kings and queens of the beach.
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