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2017-06-23 10:45:00 CEST

World Champs wildcards announced!

Find out who’s heading to the Danube Island…

Seild/Winter are World Champs-boundSeild/Winter are World Champs-bound

Drum roll please! We’re delighted to announce the names of five teams who have been selected as wildcards for the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships presented by A1 in Vienna.

The big decision to award the wildcards comes after we revealed the names of the 90 teams (45 men’s and 45 women’s) who have already qualified for the summer spectacular in the Austrian capital via the entry list and through the continental qualification system.

Hang on, wait a minute! Five wildcards? Yes, the eagle-eyed beach volleyball fans among you will notice that it should be six teams given wildcards. Indeed – and that’s still the case...however, in an added twist to the men’s tournament, there will be a national trial involving Austrian teams to decide the third and final place at the Danube Island.

But, without further ado, let’s introduce the wildcards to you…

Men:

Robin Seidl/Tobias Winter (Austria)

A new partnership for 2017, Austrians Seidl/Winter began the season together at the Fort Lauderdale Major in February and finished ninth in their most recent international tournament in The Hague. Robin, 27, previously played alongside Alexander Huber, where the duo won eight medals on the World Tour and finished a respectable ninth in the Rio Olympics last summer. Tobias, 23, first played on the senior World Tour in 2013 and was previous a teammate of Lorenz Petutschnig.

Christiaan Varenhorst/Maarten van Garderen (The Netherlands)

Another new team for the summer, the Dutch duo joined forces following the retirement of Christiaan’s former partner, the legendary Reinder Nummerdor. Standing at 6ft 11in tall, 27-year-old Christiaan enjoyed great success with Reinder, winning three World Tour titles, including gold at the Moscow Grand Slam last season. However, their greatest success came in the last World Championships two years ago, when the pair won silver in 2015. Maarten is a newcomer to the beach, having switched from in the indoor game to the sand. Also 27, Maarten made his debut at the beach at the Rio tournament in May.

The third men’s wildcard will go to another team from Austria. Further details of the forthcoming national trial will be announced in due course, so keep your eyes peeled!

Karla Borger and Maggie Kozuch are also heading for Vienna.Karla Borger and Maggie Kozuch are also heading for Vienna.

Women:

Teresa Strauss/Katharina Holzer (Austria)

This young Austrian team have only just teamed up and will head to the Danube Island full of confidence. Teresa’s regular partner is twin sister Nadine, however the 21-year-old will play alongside 18-year-old Katharina in Vienna. Teresa has a fourth place to her name on the World Tour already this season at the Malaysian event in Langkawi, while Katharina’s crowing moment so far in her early beach career was a silver medal at the European Junior and Youth Championships in 2015.

Karla Borger/Maggie Kozuch (Germany)

A team packed with experience in both the indoor and beach game, this German duo are another new constellation for 2017. Olympian Karla has enjoyed a wealth of success on the World Tour, the majority of which came with former partner Britta Büthe. In total, the 28-year-old has won seven medals – two of which have been gold. Maggie meanwhile joined Karla this winter having carved out a successful career in the indoor game in Italy. The pair finished 17th in their first tournament together in Fort Lauderdale and finished fifth in Moscow in June.

Maria Antonelli/Carolina Solberg (Brazil)

Joining the ranks of Brazilian talent heading to Austria is a hugely experienced women’s team who have enjoyed a steady stream of success throughout their careers. Carolina has been playing the game since she was nine and has 23 medals to her name – five of which were gold. Her best season came in 2013 when she and former partner Maria Salgado scooped silver at the World Championships in Holland. After taking the 2016 off after having a child, she returned to the World Tour scene with Maria, and the pair won their first medal together in the three-star tournament in The Hague in June. Maria has won no less than 43 medals – 14 gold – in a career that began in the mid-2000s.

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