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Hamburg ready to rewrite beach volleyball history

 

The biggest beach volleyball tournament in history awaits players and fans in Hamburg this summer at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships 2019 presented by comdirect & ALDI Nord.

Held inside the 13,200 capacity Rothenbaum stadium, the 12th World Championships are set to be watched by record crowds, estimated to eclipse the 180,000 fans who flocked to the 2017 edition in Vienna, Austria.

The tournament – which will run for 10 days between June 28 and July 7 and guarantees the winners qualification for the Tokyo Olympics next year – will pit the world’s beach elite against each other for a share of one million US Dollars in prize money – the highest purse in the sport’s history.

At a kick-off press conference held in Hamburg on Monday, FIVB president Dr. Ary S. Graça told journalists he believes the tournament will be landmark event for beach volleyball.

He said: “I am really looking forward to the 2019 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Hamburg and I am sure this event is going to be a huge success. Both Hamburg and Germany have all the attributes to host an amazing Championships: impressive hosting credentials, an iconic venue, passionate fans and most importantly, a great beach volleyball tradition and incredible athletes. Reigning Olympic and World Champions Laura Ludwig and the recently retired Kira Walkenhorst are prime examples alongside the 2012 Olympic Champions Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann.”

Hamburg, famous for its fish markets and its transport trade, has now become big in beach volleyball, with the sport’s German federation based in the city. It’s resulted in a boom that has seen Germany develop a number of high profile teams.

As superstars of the sport go, they come no bigger than reigning Olympic champion Laura Ludwig, who aims to defend her World Championship crown with new teammate Maggie Kozuch.

“When do you have a World Cup at home?" said the 33-year-old defender. “We want to play very good beach volleyball and we’ll see what comes out.

“In Hamburg, there is unbelievable enthusiasm for beach volleyball. It’s sensational.”

Hannes Jagerhofer, CEO of organizers the Beach Majors Company, said: “The Beach Volleyball World Championships in Hamburg will be a new milestone in the history of beach volleyball, a sport which is now, finally, firmly in the minds of every sports fan around the world.

“At the Rothenbaum in the heart of the Hanseatic city of Hamburg, beach volleyball has found a wonderful home.

“For me and my team from the Beach Majors, it's equally challenging and fun to host the world's largest tournament in the biggest beach arena.

“I am convinced that we can beat the unique enthusiasm that we experienced here in the past few years this summer! Hamburg will turn into the epicenter of the sport, which will cast a spell over Germany and the entire beach world.”