Itapema, May 17, 2019 – Alix Klineman might be just about to make her debut at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships next month, but the American knows exactly how much will be at stake when the best teams on the planet gather in Hamburg, Germany, from June 28-July 7.
This year, it will not only be the honours of being a world champion that will be up for grabs at the Rothenbaum stadium, but there will also be one country berth for the winners in each gender and invaluable rankings points in the race for the spots at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
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Klineman, 29, transitioned to the sands in 2017 after a successful volleyball career with the specific goal of representing her country in the Olympics. And she didn’t take long to realize that the World Championship is one path to take her there.
“For me, the dream has always been going to the Olympics,” she said. “That’s my ultimate goal and that’s why I moved to the beach, but I know that the World Championships are a huge part of that. There will be a lot of points at stake and we for sure want to arrive in good form. It’s super exciting, it’s the biggest tournament of the year and the strong teams will all be there.”
The ability to earn enough points to qualify herself to the most important international events of the beach volleyball calendar was, actually, something that attracted the 1.93m-blocker to the sands.
During her time in volleyball, Klineman was part of the USA national team, but was never called to their World Championship or Olympic roster.
“I felt that on the beach there wouldn’t be a coach picking the players who would go, if you do well and get the points, you get to go,” she explained. “That’s something that appealed to me about beach volleyball. It’s really nice to always be able to compete and give your best and if you don’t win, you know it’s your own fault.”
The American started her World Tour career in 2018 and, after winning her first-ever tournament, in the Hague, she climbed the rankings quickly and qualified for the World Championships with just ten international events played.
It is important to notice, however, that her immediate success was obtained with the help of one of the best all-around players on the planet, two-time Olympic medallist and 2009 world champion April Ross, her partner.
“I knew that once I partnered with April a lot of doors would open and that we would be a good team because she’s incredible,” Klineman added. “I don’t know if I expected all to happen so fast, but I do know that when we play well and we’re training well, we can compete with the best.”