2017-08-06 18:19:00 CEST
Red Bull Beach Arena. 10,000 Austrian fans. One silver medal for Clemens Doppler and Alex Horst
Alex Horst labelled his Viennese adventure as a fairytale as he and Clemens Doppler became the first Austrians to ever win a medal in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships presented by A1.
The Red Bull Beach Arena was deafening as their home heroes celebrated silver on center court, though it wasn’t quite enough for them to take gold from Evandro Goncalves and Andre Loyola, the latter becoming the youngest ever champion.
But, for a team who were absolutely delighted with any win they took in the tournament, nothing could take away from their accomplishments on the Danube Island.
Indeed this was undoubtedly the biggest honor they can claim in their career, an accomplishment that will take plenty of time to sink in.
“It’s been like a fairy tale because there has been no Austrian team winning a medal at the World Championships,” said Horst.
“We reached the final at home with this amazing, crazy crowd. I think it’s the best tournament in Beach Volleyball in history.
“We’re a little bit disappointed we didn’t win but they deserved to today a little bit more and for us it’s the biggest success we’ve had in our career.”
While the two know just how far the roar of 10,000 Austrians took them in this competition, this was not without an abundance of preparation spanning months and years since they knew a home World Championships was coming.
Few had expected the 12th seeds to get this far, but to get so close to the top step of the podium means they have become heroes to a plethora of Viennese beach volleyball fans.
Each of the 10,000 fans inside Red Bull Beach Arena was on their feet throughout the entirety of the match, though Doppler/Horst knew they were second best on the sand, losing 23-21 22-20 to the brilliant Brazilians Evandro and Andre.
“First of all I’m really proud we got so far in this tournament because our preparation for this World Championships was hard and long,” said Doppler.
“It’s nice to see again that hard work is paying off. Of course, we weren’t expecting the final here but we knew our level of beach volleyball could be as good as a team playing in the finals.
“It was easy to see were enjoying playing in front of this crazy audience. They were the third man behind us and they pushed us to the limit.
“We had so many close games which we won but I think it was because of the spectators. In the end it was an incredible journey for us and especially for Hannes Jagerhofer.”
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