Plan de Corones/Kronplatz, Italy, March 15, 2019 – With less than three weeks to go to the start of the second event on the inaugural FIVB Snow Volleyball World Tour, the entries have been finalized with teams from all five continents having registered to give the snow courts in Italy a try.
32 teams (17 men’s and 15 women’s squads), consisting of more than a hundred athletes from 18 different countries representing all five continental confederations, have signed up to play in Plan de Corones/Kronplatz from April 4 through 7.
Many of these teams have also entered to take part in the first ever World Tour event a week earlier in Wagrain, Austria, and the ones that are sure to attract the most attention in Italy as well are the big Brazilian stars of volleyball and beach volleyball – Gilberto Amauri Godoy Filho (Giba) and Marcio Henrique Barroso Araujo, respectively. 42-year-old Giba is one of the most successful legends of Brazilian volleyball, with a 2004 Olympic gold and three World Championship titles. His 45-year-old teammate on the snow, Marcio Araujo, is a 2008 Olympic silver medallist and 2005 world champion. They are joined by the sons of two legendary Brazilian players – Gabriel Heilborn Gouveia, son of 1992 Olympic indoor volleyball champion Carlao, and Pedro Henrique Resende Santos, son of 2004 Olympic beach volleyball champ Ricardo Santos.
The line for snow volleyball honours from Plan de Corones/Kronplatz is joined by another big name from the world of indoor volleyball. Seyed Mohammad Mousavi, 2016 Olympian, bronze medallist from the 2017 World Grand Champions Cup and the 2010 Club World Championship, multiple gold medallist from major continental competitions and the Best Blocker of the 2015 World Cup, will lead an Iranian squad to a historic appearance on the World Tour.
Several Snow Volleyball European Tour stars have also signed up to play on Italian snow. Poland’s Michal Matyja, multiple King of the Snow, Austria’s Florian Schnetzer, as well as the entire Russian team of Yury Bogatov, Pavel Rakusov, Petr Bakhnar and Nikita Kuzmin, have all topped the podium at various stops on the CEV continental circuit.
Austria, Brazil, Cameroon, Germany, Iran, Italy, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia and USA make up the list of countries to have men’s teams playing at the spectacular venue at 2,275 metres above sea level in South Tyrol.
On the women’s side, 43-year-old Shinako Tanaka, who has medalled on the Beach Volleyball World Tour, teams up with a couple of 21-year-old hopefuls to form a Japanese snow volleyball squad.
Pre-CEV era Queen of the Snow Silvia Poszmikova from Slovakia, 2017 Queens Anna Dostalova and Michaela Knoblochova from the Czech Republic are among the snow volleyball icons, who will grace the women’s competition in Italy.
A number of other gold medallists from the European Tour will join the battles for the World Tour women’s gold in Plan de Corones/Kronplatz – Cristiana Parenzan and Tania Ferrazzo, representing the home country, Ksenia Khakimzanova and Olga Motrich of Russia and all four of the snow volleyballers on the United States squad – Karissa Cook, Emily Hartong, Katherine Spieler and Alexandra Wheeler.
Ladies’ teams from Argentina, Czechia, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, South Africa, Turkey and USA form the line-up of candidates for medals in the Italian Dolomites.
The event in Plan de Corones/Kronplatz is the second of three stops on the 2019 FIVB Snow Volleyball World Tour. Wagrain in Austria will host the first one the previous week and Bariloche in Argentina will be the venue of the third in August.
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