Wild Card for Borger/Kozuch

Photo FIVB Photo FIVB The FIVB announced here Friday that teams from Austria, Brazil, Germany and the Netherlands have received wild card entries for the international federation’s Beach Volleyball World Championships to be played July 28 through August 6 in Vienna, Austria.

Wild cards

Men:
1st wild card: Austria (Tobias Winter/Robin Seidl)
2nd wild card: Austria (to be determined by a national trial)
3rd wild card: Netherlands (Christiaan Varenhorst/Maarten van Garderen)

Women:
1st wild card: Austria (Teresa Strauss/Katharina Holzer)
2nd wild card: Germany (Karla Borger/Margareta Kozuch)
3rd wild card: Brazil (Maria Antonelli/Carolina Solberg Salgado)

Christiaan Varenhorst, who captured the silver medal at the 2015 FIVB World Championships in the Netherlands with Reinder Nummerdor, was granted one of the three men’s wild cards with new partner Maarten van Garderen. Following the Rio 2016 Olympic Games where the Dutch World Championship finalists placed fifth, Nummerdor retired and Varenhorst played with van Garderen in two events this season in Rio de Janeiro and Moscow.

The two other men’s wild card berths will go to Austrian pairs with Robin Seidl/Tobias Winter assured of one berth with the second to be decided in the next 30 days at a trials. Seidl, who placed ninth in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with Alexander Huber after the Austrians upset Americans Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson in pool play, and Winter have competed in five FIVB World Tour events this season highlighted by a ninth-place finish last week in The Hague.

Gaining women’s wild card berths for the 2017 FIVB World Championships are Teresa Strauss/Katharina Holzer of Austria, Maria Antonelli/Carolina Solberg Salgado of Brazil and Karla Borger/Margareta Kozuch of Germany. The Brazilians and Borger are experienced players with Maria Antonelli claiming the bronze medal at the 2015 FIVB World Championships in The Hague with Juliana Felisberta.

The Brazilian wild cards won nine straight matches to capture the Dela Beach Open in The Hague last week. In winning the event in The Hague, they became only the second women’s team in FIVB World Tour history to net a gold medal after starting a tournament with country quota matches.

Borger and former partner Britta Buthe placed second at the 2013 FIVB World Championships in Stare Jablonki, Poland, before finishing ninth together at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Kozuch is playing on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour for the first-time in 2017 after being a member of the German national volleyball team and was honoured five times as her country’s top women’s volleyball player.

While the soon-to-be 19-year-old Holzer will be playing on the FIVB World Tour for the first time this season, the 21-year old Strauss has played in five international events this season highlighted by a fourth place in Malaysia with her sister (Nadine). The Strauss sister lost the bronze medal match to compatriots and 2017 World Championship entrants Lena Plesiutschnig/Cornelia Rimser.

The $1-million event will be staged at the state-of-the art Vienna Centre Court at Donauinsel with the focal point of the action and entertainment being held with a picturesque view of the Danube River and the lively atmosphere of the Beach Village. The winning men’s and women’s teams will split the $60,000 first-place prizes.

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