Namibian Beach Volleyball Teams off to Durban
The Durban Open is one of the tournaments on the international open tournament circuit organised by the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB).
The tournament attracts the world’s best Beach Volleyball teams, including Pedro Salgado and his partner Bruno Schmidt from Brazil as well as Janis Smedins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs from Latvia who are currently the top two teams on the Men’s Beach Volleyball world ranking.
“We have been very fortunate to receive wild card entries for both our national men’s and ladies team for the main draw of this tournament. Namibia was awarded these wild card entries as we have the highest ranked teams on the FIVB ranking in Africa,” said Heiko Kesselmann, Beach Volleyball Director of the Namibian Volleyball Federation.
“Now our youngsters are playing with the big boys and girls,” added Kesselmann.
For Veteran female player Lizette Roettcher, this tournament is the highlight of her career. After more than 20 years of being among the best players in Africa, she finally gets a taste of the international Beach Volleyball circuit.
Her partner, U21 national player Julia Laggner, is just half her age but has already two world championship participations behind her name.
Namibia’s men team, Tin Hlupic and Gerard Fischer, has also played at two age group world championships before, but the 19 year old youngsters will be one of the youngest teams in the main draw.
“A victory in one of the 3 group matches would be a great success for our teams, and with a little bit of luck in the drawing of the groups, this would be possible.” said Kesselmann.
The Durban Open kicked off on Wednesday with the qualification tournament. The main draw competition takes place from Thursday until Sunday at New Beach in Durban.