2016-12-31 12:58:00 CEST

More Than Sports: Mini-World Tour in Italy

About Indoors Skyballs and strong Belgians

Normally, the Italians play indoor volleyball in the PalaYamamay in Busto Arsizio near Milan. But last Thursday, it was time to put some sand on the floor for the first Unet Beach Volleyball Indoor Challenge 2016. “It was great, to play a tournament this time of the year,” Karla Borger said. It was the first tournament of the German national player with her new partner Margareta Kozuch, who conveniently lives in Milan.

1^ Beach Volley Indoor Challenge #redbull #redbullcitycrusher #palayamamay #beachvolley #volley

See this Instagram photo by @redbullcitycrusher * 60 likes

“We have been extremely nervous, but I am surprised in a positive way, that we could keep up with the others,” Karla said. The duo took the third place behind Marta Menegatti/Laura Giombini and Marketa Slukova/Barbora Hermannova, who won the women’s tournament. In the bronze medal match, Borger/Kozuch won against Sophie Van Gestel/Jolien Sinnema from the Netherlands 2-1 (21:15; 19:21; 15-10).

The men’s first attraction has been the skyballs of Adrian Carambula, who pleased the 1,500 spectators by catapulting the ball through the air, all without the ball touching the ceiling.

Skyball sopra le luce ✔️ Venite a fare il tifo e a divertirvi insieme a noi al Pala Yamamay #MrSkyball #beYOUtobeGOOD #beachvolleyball #UnetBVIndoorChallenge #ONElove

See this Instagram video by @adrian_carambula * 2,527 likes

But it was not only Adrian, who impressed the crowd. The semifinal between Olympic silver medalists Paolo Nicolai/Daniele Lupo and Tom Van Walle/Dries Koekelkoren has been one of a kind. The Belgians, who missed out the Olympics by a hairs’ breadth, caused Nicolai/Lupo lots of problems and won after some spectacular rallies 2-0 (18:16, 16:14). In the final, they also beat Ranghieri/Carambula 2-0 by showing a great early form (21:17, 21:18). The fourth place went to Xandi Huber from Austria, who played with Alexei Strasser Prawdzic from Switzerland. Another transnational duo had to forfeit: Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Youssef Krou wanted to start for Latvia and France, but muscular issues stopped them.

The other teams enjoyed the tournament, Karla is hoping to “have this every year, from now on.”

Ready for the action tomorrow ✌🏻💋 #teamdance #palayamamay #exhibition #unetbeachvolleyindoorchallenge

See this Instagram video by @marketa_slukova * 309 likes

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