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From the Istrian shore to the Swiss mountains: For the third stop of the Swatch #beachvolleyballmajorseries the elite relocated from Poreč to Gstaad. The traditional #event will be held for the 17th time, for the second time as a Major after the premiere last year. Not only that – the draw for the Olympic pools will take place on Saturday.
Less than 48 hours since Alison/Bruno claimed gold on Center Court at the Poreč Major the stars are back on the sand in front of the breathtaking backdrop of the Swiss Alps. The Gstaad Major in the famous Gstaadium in the center of the lovely mountain village is one of Switzerland’s most anticipated summer events. Until Sunday the best men’s and women’s teams will fight for USD 800,000 of prize money.
Last year the inaugural Gstaad Major was an all Brazilian affair as Alison Cerutti/Bruno Schmidt and Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca took the respective men’s and women’s titles in 2016. The road to Rio also plays a major role during the big beach party 1,000 meters above sea level. On Saturday evening Gstaad will host the draw for the pools in the Olympic tournament in Rio. On stage will be Swiss ski champion Patrick Kueng and Julius Brink, Olympic gold medalist from 2012.
On this first day of the Gstaad Major the biggest story was undoubtedly the quick reappearance of Poreč Major gold medalists Chantal Laboureur andJulia Sude. Just three days ago they were jumping for joy with a bundle of emotions having become the first qualifiers ever to win a Major. And guess what? On Tuesday they were back in qualification! The top seeds in qualifying continued their winning streak and defeated Swiss team Laura Caluori and Elena Steinemann 2-0.
“We’ve had two days to realize what has happened,” Chantal Laboureur said. “Yesterday we tried to focus for today because it’s a new tournament and we have to start from the bottom. But after this tournament we will let out all the emotion.” At that point Julia smiled and said: “We’ll have seven days off, enjoy our time and party a little bit!”
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