The German city of Hamburg has made its biggest catch yet – in 2019 it will have the honor of hosting the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships.
Beach volleyball’s biggest biennial celebration will take place between June 28 and July 7, 2019*, when 48 of the world’s best teams compete for the title and – significantly – a ticket to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
Having established itself as the central hub in Germany for developing players such as reigning Olympic and World Champions Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst, Hamburg has quickly become synonymous with beach volleyball.
In August this year the city will make history by becoming the first to host the World Tour Finals – the annual end-of-season spectacular that pits the globe’s best athletes head-to-head on the sand – two seasons in succession.
Next year’s World Championships will be the 12th in the history of the competition and the second time that Germany will host the event. Hamburg will follow in the footsteps of Berlin, which held the 2005 championships.
Hamburg can expect to witness the same spine-tingling atmosphere and dramatic battles on the beach that captivated over 180,000 fans at the last World Championships, which were held in Vienna, Austria, in 2017.
Last year, history was made when Brazilian André Loyola Stein, together with teammate Evandro Gonçalves Oliveira Junior, became the youngest male World Champion at the age of 22.
The South Americans will aim to make more history next year – no men’s team has ever successfully retained the world title.
André said: “We are aware of our responsibility as the reigning champions – and hopefully we can become the first male team to win back-to-back editions of the World Championships. That became a goal for us and these are the things that push our team forward.”
In Vienna, Ludwig and Walkenhorst were the undoubted stars of the show, however, as they added the missing piece of gold from their trophy cabinet with a stunning title-winning performance. Now the duo can’t wait for 2019 to roll around.
“It is going to be an amazing opportunity for Hamburg to show to the world how much beach volleyball means to the people of this city,” said Ludwig, who will miss the 2018 season as she prepares to give birth to her first child.
“Hamburg’s reputation for the sport has already grown significantly and, with another World Tour Finals planned this year plus the World Championships next year, this status will be enhanced even further. The sky’s the limit.”
FIVB president, Dr. Ary S. Graça, added: “I have no doubt that the city will be an excellent host for the 2019 Beach Volleyball World Championships, and will build up on the success of the 2017 edition staged in Vienna. This event always demonstrates the FIVB’s core principles of skill, athleticism and teamwork, acting as one to achieve the ultimate success.”