Gerson and Prawdzic carry Swiss hopes in Lausanne
2013 CEV Beach Volleyball Satellite - Lausanne
Lausanne, Switzerland, June 29, 2013. The third day of action at the CEV Satellite tournament in Lausanne did contribute some surprises especially with the elimination of home heroes Sébastien Chevallier and Rafael Bissig. Even though they played their best after teaming up shortly before the start of the tournament, they eventually lost to their compatriots Mirco Gerson and Alexei Prawdzic in straight sets (17-21, 12-21). The young Swiss guys will need the support of the home audience on Sunday as in the semis they are set to play the Czechs Jan Hadrava and Robert Kufa, winners of the CEV Satellite in Montpellier three weeks ago.
Hadrava and Kufa had it difficult in the third round as they needed three sets to cruise past Norway’s Oivind Hordvik and Morten Kvamsdal (21-16, 17-21, and 15-12) to make it to the semis. The guys from Norway still found their way to the top four of the tournament via the losers’ bracket and will play on Sunday Germany’s Alexander Walkenhorst – winner of this tournament in 2011 – and his new partner Lars Flüggen. “We really enjoy playing here. The surroundings of Lausanne are just beautiful” says Oivind Hordvik. “This is our second season together and we are gradually getting to know each other. We are tall and powerful players and our main goal is to make it to Rio 2016 though there is still a long way up to the next Olympics in Brazil”.
The organizers are very pleased with the many supporters that showed up on Saturday to cheer on the participating teams though bad weather accompanied their actions there in Ouchy. Still the sun is announced for Sunday and shall therefore contribute perfect conditions for the last stage of the competition.
Chevallier’s partner Mats Kovatsch showed up on Saturday to follow the games and was evidently upset for an injury forced him to pull out from the competition. “Of course I am upset because this tournament was a perfect way to prepare for the upcoming World Champs in Poland and I always enjoy playing in Switzerland. However, I needed some rest to nurse my injury and get ready for the World Championship and the Grand Slam in Gstaad”. Chevallier and Kovatsch will join their forces once more in Stare Jablonki, one of their stops along the long way to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. “It is still a long way but we are trying to get as many points as possible from the World Tour to improve on our ranking” says Chevallier. As they do not stand out for their physical attributes, these guys have focused on dynamism and speed to try to make it to the international Beach Volleyball elite.
Their short-term goal is to play at the World Championship without too much pressure after Kovatsch’s injury and get ready for the Grand Slam in Gstaad. “We have to develop as a team, travel and play tournaments together in order to build up the right confidence” stresses Chevallier who says his role model is 2012 Olympic champion Julius Brink. “He’s even shorter than me and he does inspire me”. Chevallier and Kovatsch do not rule out they will return to Lausanne next year depending on the international calendar as their priority will be the events included on the FIVB World Tour.
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