Ostrava, Czech Republic, June 21, 2018 – The unique venue of the Lower Vitkovice industrial heritage site is all set for the main draw action of the four-star Ostrava stop on the 2018 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour starting at 9.00 local time on four courts with 128 players eager to battle it out for their share of the $300,000 prize money and beach honours on Czech sand.
Quick links - Beach volleyball:
32 women’s and 32 men’s pairs make up the line-up for the pool stage of the tournament. In each gender, they are divided into eight pools of four teams each. Within each pool two matches will be played first, with the two winners securing their spots in the single elimination phase and playing each other later on Thursday for a direct ticket to the second knockout round.
The two losers will also face each other in the survival battles determining who stays and who goes, but these are scheduled for Friday morning.
The women's teams begin the pool play first, with Canada’s Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson and Slovakia’s Andrea Strbova and Natalia Dubovcova opening the centre court for business with a Pool E match.
At the same, on court 2, an all-Brazilian clash between Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda Santos Lisboa (Duda) and Taina Silva Bigi and Victoria Lopes Pereira Tosta is set to spark excitement under the ironworks of the Bolt Tower.
The home teams will then take over the centre court for their pool matches, with Kristyna Kolocova and Michala Kvapilova facing Poland’s Kinga Kolosinska and Katarzyna Kociolek at 09:50, wild cards Martina Bonnerova and Sarka Nakladalova challenging best-ranked Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude of Germany at 10:40, and top-seeded Barbora Hermannova and Marketa Slukova engaging in another Czech-Polish duel against Aleksandra Wachowicz and Jagoda Gruszczynska at 11:30.
The start of the men’s main draw action is scheduled for 12:20. The Netherlands’ Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen and Germany’s Julius Thole and Clemens Wickler will be the first to test the sand on centre court, before giving way to Czech wild cards David Lenc and Filip Habr who take on top-seeded Alison Cerutti and Andre Loyola Stein of Brazil at 13.10.
Another Czechia v Brazil clash will follow at 14.00, as Jan Dumek and Vaclav Bercik challenge second-seeded Evandro Goncalves Oliveira Junior and Vitor Goncalves Felipe. At the same, an all-Brazilian battle, Pedro Solberg and Bruno Oscar Schmidt against Thiago Santos Barbosa and George Souto Maior Wanderley, will draw attention to court 3.
In the last batch of first-leg pool-play matches, at 15.00, the highest seeded Czech team, Ondrej Perusic and David Schweiner, will meet Lithuania’s Arnas Rumsevicius and Lukas Kazdailis on centre court, while the fans from Poland, which is just minutes away from the venue, will make their way to court 2 to see Piotr Kantor and Bartosz Losiak against Kacper Kujawiak and Maciej Rudol in an all-Polish derby.