Beach Voleyball is considered, and truly is, the “Summer King”. It was the first sand sport to be included in the Olympic Games competition schedule in 1996, in Atlanta.
The II Mediterranean Games Men’s and Women’s Beach Volleyball tournaments will start on Wednesday, August 28th, and feature top athletes from every part of the Mediterranean.
Nine countries will participate, fielding a total of 18 Men’s and 12 Women’s teams.
Games in both tournaments will begin on Wednesday morning and will be concluded under the floodlights on Friday evening.
Greece participates in the Women’s tournament with two pairs, consisting of Vasiliki ARVANITI Panagiota KARAGKOUNI, and Konstantina TSOPOULOU and Dimitra MANAVI, respectively.
34-year-old ARVANITI is a former European Champion and the record title holder in Greek Championships (10). She won her tenth title a few days ago in Aghios Nikolaos, Crete, with KARAGKOUNI as her partner. The latter won her own fourth title, the second during her partnership with ARVANITI.
TSOPOULOU and MANAVI, hailing from Thessaloniki, were silver medalists in 2019 and Champions in 2018, while TSOPOULOU has been crowned Champion once more with KARAGKOUNI as her partner.
Both teams from France are expected to fight for a medal. Team I consists of Lezana PLACETTE and Alexia RICHARD, who finished 9th in the European Championships held in the beginning of August in Moscow, in a tie with ARVANITI and and KARAGKOUNI.
Cyprus will also be among the contenders, and will field two teams as well. Cyprus I will feature Mariota ANGELOPOULOU, who will return to her hometown of Patras, and Manolina KONSTANTINOU. The two athletes have donw really well in Masters tournaments of the Greek Beach Volleyball circuit.
Zoi KONSTANTOPOULOU and Erika ZEMBYLA are the athletes forming the Cyprus II pair.
Slovenia, participating with Katarina FABJAN και την Klara KREGAR, is also among the favorites, while Serbia will be represented by two sisters, Tamara MILJEVIC and Marija MILJEVIC.
Portugal, the tournament’s “Cinderella”, will feature the youngest athlete in Η «Σταχτοπούτα» Beatriz SILVA PINHEIRO, born on May 5th, 2000. She will be partnered by Vanessa Sofia DA COSTA PAQUETE.
Teams from Albania, Morocco, Croatia and Kosovo will also participate.
In the Men’s tournament, 18 teams from 15 countries will be present. Greece will be represented by two pairs: Greece I (featuring 2019 National Champions Dimitrios NIOPAS and Rafail Konstantinos BANIOTIS) and Greece II (Theodoros PAPADIMITRIOU and Georgios TERZOGLOU).
The oldest player of the tournament comes from Kosovo. Faton MUSTAFA was born on May 19th, 1978, and will be partnered by Armend BERISHA.
Other favorites are the Spanish pair of Javier HUERTA PASTOR and Oscar JIMENEZ GUTIERREZ, and Libyans Fuad ELMAARUG and Mohamed IKHBAYRI.
Cyprus will also field its two strongest teams, which had strong presences in international tournaments this year. Cyprus I consists of Antonis LIOTATIS and Georgios CHRISTODOULOU, while Dimitrios APOSTOLOU and Sotiris SIAPANIS form Cyprus II.
France will also compete with two pairs, while the other participants are Serbia, Albania, Andorra, Morocco, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Monaco, Portugal and Tunisia.