Lausanne, Switzerland, January 19, 2017 – Alison Cerutti and Bruno Schmidt are ready to put their perfect year behind them with the start of the 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour edging ever closer.
The World Tour starts with the Fort Lauderdale Major Series that runs from February 7-12 and Alison and Bruno will be there as they start another huge year.
In 2016 they were nigh on untouchable on the court as they won gold at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games and then followed up with glory at the Toronto 2016, FIVB World Tour Finals.
This year their main aim will be to defend their world title at the Vienna 2017, FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships and so they have been recuperating over the Brazilian summer to ensure that they are as fresh as possible for Fort Lauderdale.
“We had a long break this year and we needed it,” Bruno told swatchmajorseries.com
. “We had to take care of our bodies. We are entering our 30s now and each year it gets harder to restart, but it is a fun challenge at the same time.
“We want to start the season in good shape, playing well and this is what motivates us when we touch the sand every day.”
The Brazilian pair have fond memories of the Florida venue as they won gold there at the 2015 World Tour Finals, shortly after they had topped the podium at the 2015 World Championships.
After beginning their pre-season preparations, they have quickly returned to form and won two stops on the Brazil Tour and one silver over the Brazilian summer.
“Fort Lauderdale is a passionate city. It is my favourite place in Florida and I loved playing there,” said Bruno. “We also have a lot of supporters, as many Brazilians live in the south of Florida. In 2015, even facing an American team in the final, half of the people in the stands were wearing yellow and green.”
Alison and Bruno’s positons as undisputed kings of the beach mean that this year they are a big target for teams chasing their crowns.
Former world champions Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen will be aiming to improve on their Rio 2016 bronze medals, as will silver medallists Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai. FIVB World Tour champions Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins will also be out to add more lustre to their trophy collections, especially because they failed to advance beyond the pool stages at Rio 2016.
“We know that after an Olympic cycle it is usual that many teams change their formations around the world as it happened now,” Schmidt said. “We have to be ready for it.
“Many countries are very strong in beach volleyball nowadays, like the Netherlands, Italy and Russia, but Brazil and the United States have very talented teams that know each other very well.”