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2017-07-29 17:33:00 CEST

IOC president wowed by #WorldChampsVienna

Thomas Bach serves it up on the Red Bull Beach Arena

Mr Bach (left) gets in on the action during the World ChampsMr Bach (left) gets in on the action during the World Champs

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach hailed the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships presented by A1 after being invited onto the sand on day two of the tournament.

Together with FIVB president Dr Ary Graca, Mr Bach was introduced to the packed Red Bull Beach Arena crowd before paying tribute to the sport and its fans.

“It is a great sport and you can tell that beach volleyball gets more and more international: I saw teams from Africa and all continents,” said Mr Bach.

“It really shows the development of the sport. Further more the atmosphere is perfect. You have an enthusiastic crowd and the weather is perfect. The stage is set for great World Championships.”

The Danube Island was full of beach fans who reveled in the breathtaking action under the scorching Vienna sun – leaving a lasting impression on the IOC president.

“It was a great feeling – almost like Copacabana,” continued Mr Bach. “The expectations for myself were even higher as before the opening speech at the Olympic Games.”

But which team is the 63-year-old German’s favorite?

Well last year’s Olympic champs of course…

“I root for them,” he said. “I do as much as I’m allowed to in my position so I root for them secretly, but they know I am a fan.”

Mr Bach (right) with Peter Kleinmann of Volleyball Austria (middle) and Dr Ary Graca (left)Mr Bach (right) with Peter Kleinmann of Volleyball Austria (middle) and Dr Ary Graca (left)

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