Larnaca will host the world under 19-year-old beach volley championship this week with 97 teams playing at the Phinikoudes beach. The Cyprus Volleyball Federation and the Larnaca municipality will co-host this top level event between July 27 and 31.
This is not the first time. “Larnaca is experienced at this now,” press officer for the event Antonis Loizou said on Monday. “They have hosted this event in 2012, the under 21-year-old world championship in 2015 and the European championship in August 2015.”
This year 48 countries take part. Each country will participate with one women’s and one men’s team, except Cyprus which as host is allowed two teams.
Four groups from Cyprus will tackle the qualifying matches which start on Wednesday at 8am. The four woman athletes are twins Katerina Zakcheou and Vassiliki Hadjikonstanta and sisters Natassa and Katerina Yiasoumi. The men are Alex Anastasiades, Sotiris Siapanis, Marios Strougharevits and Kyriakos Parlas.
Those who make it will be playing matches from Thursday and until Sunday on four courts. Matches are scheduled for mornings and afternoons, and on the centre court which has floodlights also in the evenings.
The semi-finals and finals are programmed for Sunday followed by the awards ceremony.
According to the press officer, another main attraction is part of this year’s event as champion Eduarda ‘Duda’ Lisboa from Brazil is expected to be a guest. She won the gold in the under 19-year-old world beach volley championship in 2013 and 2014 and was the world champion of under 21-year-olds in 2015.
Most of the athletes are likely to arrive late on Monday as there is a draw and a preliminary meeting on Tuesday. Those Larnaca hotels which were not already full before are expected to be filled with athletes and guests for this week.