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2017-07-28 21:09:00 CEST

Doppler stunned by first day crowd

Austrians roared onto victory by raucous Red Bull Beach Arena

Clemens salutes the Red Bull Beach Arena crowdClemens salutes the Red Bull Beach Arena crowd

A packed Red Bull Beach Arena gave everyone goosebumps as the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships presented by A1 got off to a flying start on Friday.

And one man in particular felt the atmosphere was particularly spine-tingling, Vienna’s very own Clemens Doppler.

The legendary 36-year-old and teammate Alexander Horst got their home championships under way with a fine straight sets win over Iran’s Rahman Raoufi and Bahman Salemiinjehboroun on the main court.

But the tension, excitement and sheer scale of the event almost left the usually unflustered Doppler in awe before he ever set foot on the sand.

“I never thought the stadium would be so full,” said Austrian. “I told all my friends not to be worried about securing a place before the quarterfinals – but we didn’t know what to expect.

“We didn’t go near the Red Bull Beach Arena before our game – we just heard the fans. We were underneath the VIP tribune waiting to go on and I just thought it couldn’t be possible that a half-full stadium could be so loud.

“But when we came up the stairs onto the court all of a sudden we saw a full stadium. On the first day. It was incredible.

“All the feedback from the fans were positive and it couldn’t have been a better advert for the next few days – and this was all for beach volleyball.

“I just can’t imagine what will happen when we have 30 degree heat here on Sunday. It’s going to be unbelievable.”

Clemens and Alex’s match on Sunday is against Canadian continental qualifiers Aaron Nusbaum and Ryan Vandenburg – and you can see that game on BeachStream. Click here to sign-up and watch for free.

The crowd watch on as Alex and Clemens take on IraniansThe crowd watch on as Alex and Clemens take on Iranians

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