Dutch duo Alexander Breuer/Robert Meusen and Katja Stam/Raisa Schön started the Beach Volleyball World Championships in Rome with a convincing victory.
Breuer and Mausen defeated a Moroccan couple at a brisk pace 21-11 21-9. It was easier between Stam and Sean against a Costa Rican duo: 21-5 21-8.
Dutch women were placed first in Rome. Stam (23) and Shawn (20), who made their Olympic debuts in Tokyo last year, won the Elite 16 tournament in Mexico in March, and were also a two-time finalist. The young duo tops the world rankings.
Brouwer (32) and Meeuwsen (34) have been among the best in the world for years. They became world champions in 2013 and took the bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Games. Both the men’s and women’s teams participate in the World Cup. Besides Stam/Schoon and Brouwer/Meeuwsen, three other Dutch couples are active: Stefan Boermans/Matthew Immers, Leon Luini/Ruben Penninga and Christiaan Varenhorst/Steven van de Velde.
Varenhorst and Van de Velde won their first team match later on Friday. They defeated Polish power couple Michal Braille and Bartosz Luciak in two sets: 23-21 21-13. The Polish duo is currently number 8 in the world. In the first group, the Dutch made up for the deficit. Then they made a big lead in the second set and didn’t give it up anymore.
Numbers 1 and 2 of the twelve groups advance to the knockout stage, just as the top four numbers 3. The other 3 numbers compete in an intermediate round for the remaining four places in the knockout stage. The World Championships will be held at Foro Italico, the Italian capital.
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