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2017-07-25 14:16:00 CEST

#WorldChampsVienna – pool preview – part 4

We focus on the World Championships women’s pools D, E and F

Can Olympic champs Laura and Kira claim their first world title?Can Olympic champs Laura and Kira claim their first world title?

We preview all 24 pools ahead of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships presented by A1 in Vienna – here’s our look at women’s pools D, E and F.

Pool D – Women

Meet the teams

Ludwig/Walkenhorst (Germany)
Borger/Kozuch (Germany)
Glenzke/Grossner (Germany)
Mahasssin/Zeroual (Morocco)

Click here for Pool D schedule

The lowdown

There was a buzz of conversation around the room when the draw was made for this pool at the Poreč Major last month. Three German teams go head-to-head for a place in the elimination rounds, headed by 2016 Olympic champions Ludwig/Walkenhorst. The pair, however, have had an injury-hit season so far and will need to be at their best to see off wildcards Borger/Kozuch and European qualifiers Glenzke/Grossner. The only non-German team of the quartet hails from Morocco as Mashassin/Zeroual arrive in Vienna for what will be their first ever international tournament together.

Game to watch

They save the best ‘til last in this pool as Olympic champs Laura and Kira take on wildcards and a new team for 2017 Borger/Kozuch at the Red Bull Beach Arena in their final pool play match. Walkenhorst missed the Poreč Major through injury but Ludwig was partnered instead by Kozuch in a last-minute switch. There will be no secrets between the teams, but this promises to be a treat on the main court.

Brooke Sweat and Summer Ross are top seeded in Pool E.Brooke Sweat and Summer Ross are top seeded in Pool E.

Pool E – Women

Meet the teams

Sweat/S. Ross (USA)
Davidova/Shchypkova (Ukraine)
Mashkova/Samalikova (Kazakhstan)
Plesiutschnig/Rimser (Austria)

Click here for the Pool E schedule

The lowdown

Americans Sweat/Ross head the seedings in Pool E, qualifying thanks to their healthy world ranking position. The pair, new for 2017, have already achieved four top-five finishes this season, including a silver medal in Russia. That makes them favorites to top this group but they will be under pressure from two tandems from Eastern Europe, Mashkova/Shchypkova of Ukraine and Kazakhstan’s Mashkova/Samailkova. Austrians Plesiutschnig/Rimser benefitted from a host country place but already have a bronze medal to their name this season, having finished third in Malaysia.

Game to watch

The Red Bull Beach Arena will be packed to the rafters on the opening day of the tournament when Austrians Plesiutschnig/Rimser take on the USA’s Sweat/Ross. A win for the home team would get the championships off to a great start and put the Americans under pressure to secure a place in the elimination round.

Czechs Hermannová/Sluková won silver in Croatia but can they claim a medal in Vienna?Czechs Hermannová/Sluková won silver in Croatia but can they claim a medal in Vienna?

Pool F – Women

Meet the teams

Hermannová/Sluková (Czech Republic)
Lahti/Lehtonen (Finland)
Bobadilla/Filippo (Paraguay)
Alfaro/Charles (Costa Rica)

Click here for the Pool F schedule

The lowdown

Czech stars Hermannová/Sluková have enjoyed a fine 2017 season so far, finishing in the top 10 at all seven tournaments so far. The highlight was a silver medal under the floodlights in Poreč last month and that form makes them the team to fear in Pool F. Finns Lahti/Lehtonen qualified for their first championships thanks to their consistent ranking points. Paraguay’s Bobadilla/Filippo almost made it to the Olympic Games last summer before falling at the final qualifications stage but that wasn’t the case for Costa Rica’s Alfaro/Charles, who finished 19th on the Copacabana last summer.

Game to watch

The all-European clash between the Czechs and Finns is the standout match in Pool F. Both teams have been incredibly consistent since they formed their partnerships and will be eyeing a place in the knockout phase. The teams have only ever met once before – at Poreč last month that the Czech’s won before going onto reach the final.

Previous previews: Men pools A-C, women pools A-C, men’s pools D-F.

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