After arriving in Latvia, three pairs of beach volleyball from the European Championship have been diagnosed with Covid-19, but another duo did not come to the competition, the Latvian Volleyball Federation (LVF) reports on Wednesday. </p><div> <p>Taking into account that four duos were removed from the tournament participants at the last moment, Matīss Gabduliņš / Artūrs Rinkevičs, as well as Mārcis Jirgensons / Rinalds Aišpurs were given the opportunity to play in the sand of Jūrmala.
The first of the duos on Wednesday was scheduled to play with European former champions Pablo Erer and Adrian Gavir (9th). Latvians did not participate in this game, because only yesterday Covid-19 tests were performed, but the results of their answers are not yet expected.
Meanwhile, LVF reports that four athletes from Austria, Ukraine and Russia tested positive for Covid-19.
All athletes had to arrive in Latvia with a negative test, not older than 72 hours. Immediately after arriving at Riga Airport, all athletes were retested. In the case of a positive test, the athletes were immediately isolated and the test was repeated immediately. Re-testing is performed according to the instructions of Professor Dr. Manfred Holzgreef, Medical Delegate of the European Volleyball Confederation (CEV), to make sure that no error is possible. As well as re-testing of all participants takes place in accordance with the regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers.
Infected athletes are currently housed in other accommodations, where they are regularly monitored by doctors. The national federations, in turn, take further care of the athletes.
Only negatively tested people who have no contact with the infected live in the athletes’ official hotel in the “bubble system”, said LVF.
On the other hand, no changes have been made in the women’s tournament, everything is going according to the tournament plan and no cases of Covid-19 have been detected.
The organizers reiterate that there is a strict protocol that ensures that all healthy athletes can safely participate in the competition.
This time in a group tournament, each team does not play with everyone. The winners of the first game determine the winner in the group, who immediately enters the second round of the playoffs, and the losers – in the continuation of the “excess” team competition.
The European Beach Volleyball Championship in Jūrmala takes place from September 15 to 20. The 32-pair men’s and women’s tournament brings together the best European beach volleyball men’s duets from 15 countries and women’s pairs from 13 countries.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the tournament is eligible for one of the strongest tournaments of the season in terms of status in the world.
The main contenders for the women’s tournament are the Swiss – Tanja Hübler / Nina Becart and Joan Heidrich / Anuka Verge-Depré, the Olympic champion Laura Ludviga from Germany, who plays with Margaret Kozuh, and Sanne Kaizere and Madeleine Mepelinka from the Netherlands Hermanova. The current champions are Graudiņa with Kravčenok.
In the men’s competition, the title is defended by the world-leading leaders from Moscow, Annešs Mūls and Kristians Sērums, who won in Moscow. World champions from Russia Vyacheslav Krasilnikov and Oleg Stoyanovskis, world vice-champions from Germany Julius Tole and Clemens Wicker, world ex-champions – Dutch duo Alexander Brouvers / Robert Erchon Adrian Gavira, as well as other powerful foreign duos.
Although the Olympic rankings related to the Covid-19 pandemic were frozen on March 16 this year, the European Championship is traditionally one of the tournaments in which teams compete for Olympic ranking points.
Volleyball players also compete for a total prize pool of 200,000 euros.
The decision to organize the competition in Latvia was made at the meeting of the Board of the European Volleyball Confederation (CEV) on July 7, 2020.
In the previous European Championship in Jūrmala in 2017, Jānis Šmēdiņš and Aleksandrs Samoilovs became vice-champions. In August 2017, Šmēdiņš with Samoilov reached the final, where he lost to the Italians Daniel Lupo and Paolo Nikola, but at that time Graudiņa and Kravčenoka, as well as Mārtiņš Pļaviņš with Harald Regza, won the surprisingly high fifth place.
This year, the competitions of the World Tour stage were to take place in Jūrmala, but this tournament was postponed to the next year due to the coronavirus pandemic.