Lucerne, Switzerland, May 3, 2016 - In less than a week the 2016 FIVB age-group season will kick off in Lucerne. From May 11-16 the Swiss city hosts the U21 World Championships. Among the young participants from over 45 countries is the talented Eduarda Santos Lisboa from Brazil, better known as Duda.
The 17-year old won the Fortaleza Open this past weekend with her partner Elize Maia, defeating World Tour veterans and fellow Brazilians Juliana Felisberta and Taiana Lima 2-0 in the final. And this was not even their first World Tour medal, having won the Maceio Open in February and finishing third in Prague and second in Puerto Vallarta last year.Elize Maia (left) and Eduarda Lisboa celebrate winning the Fortaleza Open
Young Duda made her debut at an FIVB age-group event at the age of 14, winning silver at the U23 World Championships in Myslowice in 2013. She is also the reigning U19 world champion, with consecutive titles in 2013 and 2014. Since her regular partner Elize Maia is 31 years old, Duda will partner up with 17-year old Ana Patricia Silva Ramos in Lucerne.
Other medal contestants at the bi-annual U21 are Germany’s Lisa Arnholdt and Sarah Schneider, who finished second at the 2014 U19 in Porto, losing the final to Duda and Andressa Cavalcanti. Also travelling to Switzerland are the Canadian twins Megan and Nicole McNamara, who took the 2014 U19 bronze.
In the men’s competition the reigning U19 world champions George Souto Maior Wanderley and Arthur Diego Mariano Lanci, also from Brazil, will aim for another podium place.
Their biggest rivals will probably be Tigrito and Peter from Venezuela (2014 U19 bronze), U20 European champions Anders Berntsen Mol and Mathias Berntsen from Norway and youth Olympic champions Artem Yarzutkin and Oleg Stoyanovskiy from Russia, who finished second at the FIVB World Tour Kish Island Open earlier this year.
The 2,500-seat stadium is set up on the shore of Lake Lucerne. A beautiful decor with the Swiss Alps in the background. “The location is perfect, all we need now is good weather conditions,” tournament director Siegbert Brutschin said at Tuesday’s press conference. A press conference was held in Lucerne
This will be the first FIVB Age-Group World Championships held in Lucerne, but the city has hosted multiple CEV, FIVB Satellite, FIVB Challenger events and even a FIVB World Tour Open last year. “The organizers proved last year that they are able to get such a great event going,” said beach volleyball director Philippe Saxer from Swiss Volley.FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Championships Lucerne 2016
The promoters used their experiences last year to fine-tune several details, like transportation. Athletes will profit from a boat shuttle from Lucerne main station to the Lido venue. “Nobody will get stuck in traffic anymore, and the athletes will have an experience they will never forget,” said Marcel Bourquin, president of the organisation committee.