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Swiss teams gear up for beach volleyball world championships

The Laciga brothers celebrated second place at the Gstaad tournament in June Keystone Archive

A record five Swiss teams are preparing for the next round of the Beach Volleyball World Championships which begins in Klagenfurt, Austria on Wednesday.

Switzerland’s most successful duo on the international circuit, Martin and Paul Laciga, will be hoping to end the week with a first win of the season.

The Laciga brothers have made it through to five of this season’s finals, only to lose out each time to their opponents in the last match.

Martin Laciga sounded upbeat as the pair left for the sand court in Austria.

“It would be great to win,” he said, “and I only hope we will be able to play as well as we have been doing this season.”

“And if the god of beach volleyball would be kind enough to send us a little bit of luck, then everything is possible,” he added.

The pair reached the finals of the first four tournaments in the series, which took place in Tenerife, Gstaad, Berlin and Stavanger in Norway, only to lose out on lifting the trophy each time.

The Laciga brothers already hold the 1998 and 2000 World Titles and came fifth in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

The Lacigas’ main opponents are likely to be the Argentinian pairing of Baracetti/Conde, the Brazilian duo Emmanuel/Tande and the Olympic champions from the USA, Blanton and Fonoimoana.

The other Swiss men’s teams participating in Klangenfurt are Stefan Heuscher and Patrick Kobel, and Markus Egger and Sascha Heyer.

Heuscher/Kobel are likely to make an impression in Austria after a successful debut season during which they took seventh place in Tenerife and fourth in Berlin.

In the women’s competition, Switzerland is represented by two teams, Karin Trüssel and Denise Kölliker, and Nicole Benoit and Simone Kuhn, though neither have so far made an impressive start to the season.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR