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08/02/2021 10:38
Switzerland and the Netherlands win exhibition event in Düsseldorf
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Düsseldorf, Germany, February 8, 2021. The Netherlands and Switzerland have emerged as the winners of the ‘Nations Clash’, a Beach Volleyball invitational exhibition event held this past week at the Mitsubishi Electric Halle in Düsseldorf.

The competition in the German city lasted for four days and the programme featured as many as 48 matches in an exciting format recalling other traditional team events such as the Davis Cup in tennis. Two-time European champions Madelein Meppelink/Sanne Keizer (pictured) teamed up with youngsters Raïsa Schoon and Katja Stam to claim top honours from the women’s competition, which they ended on an impressive record of nine wins from 12 matches, dropping only eight sets along the way. This also means the Dutchwomen travel home with 50% of the prize money resulting from donations made by fans through the streaming platform Twitch.

Switzerland – with reigning European champions Joana Heidrich/Anouk Vergé-Dépré and Tanja Hüberli/Nina Betschart – finished second as hosts Germany had to be content with third place. Victoria Bieneck/Isabel Schneider and Karla Borger/Julia Sude represented the home country in the competition, with Borger replaced by Cinja Tillmann in the last game due to injury.


Marco Krattiger (right) and partner Florian Breer speaking after contributing to a Swiss victory at the Nations Clash in Düsseldorf

Switzerland represented by Adrian Heidrich/Mirco Gerson and Marco Krattiger/Florian Breer were the winners of the men’s tournament, with a record of eight wins from 12 matches and only 8 sets lost in the process as well accounting for 50% of the prize money as well. The Netherlands – with Christiaan Varenhorst/Steven van de Velde and Jasper Bouter/Ruben Penninga – finished second, with Germany again settling for third, courtesy of the results achieved by Clemens Wickler/Julius Thole and Nils Ehlers/Yannick Harms. Actually, Dan John replaced Wickler in four of the six matches contested by the German team.

A mixed Czech-Swiss team and Austria finished fourth in the women’s and men’s competition, respectively.

The athletes and coaches competing in Düsseldorf found the Nations Clash, an exhibition event officially recognised as such by the CEV, a very precious opportunity to test their shape ahead of the start of the outdoor season. The event accounted for the delivery of some truly competitive matches against good opposition, which were useful to see where teams stand as they prepare for the resumption of the World Tour where they will be chasing qualification for the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

On the other hand, through the Nations Clash, the city of Düsseldorf further cemented is rising status as a Beach Volleyball ‘hub’, with local authorities expressing their wish and interest in hosting more international competitions in the near future.

Pictures courtesy of Flo Treiber/
floriantreiber.de

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