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2016-07-27 11:26:00 CEST

Horst preparing for the mother of all tournaments

Memories of Klagenfurt will last forever for Austrian

Alex Horst claimed silver in Poreč. What price gold in Klagenfurt? Photocredit: Daniel Gollner.Alex Horst claimed silver in Poreč. What price gold in Klagenfurt? Photocredit: Daniel Gollner.

Thousands of beach fans will flock to the capital of beach volleyball this week – and most of them will be hoping that home heroes Alex Horst and Clemens Doppler can claim gold.

If their performance in Poreč is anything to go by then the Austrians have a chance. They scooped their first medal in four years with silver in Croatia but success at the A1 Major Klagenfurt would surely be the ultimate achievement of their careers.

“It’s the mother of all tournaments,” Alex told us. “When you see all the Germans posting on the internet that they’re going to Klagenfurt, calling it the ‘mecca of beach volleyball’ it says a lot. Of course for Austria it’s important but for every country it is still very important.”

This week will be Horst’s 12th appearance in Klagenfurt – his best finish came last year with Doppler when they lost in the quarterfinals of the European Championships to Italians Ranghieri/Carambula.

But the 33-year-old still looks back on his epic first year – exactly a decade ago – when he and partner Sebastian Göttlinger sent shockwaves through the sport with a stunning shock victory.

“In my first year, in 2006, we beat world champions Marcio/Fabio in our first match,” Alex reminisces. “That’s a big memory for me here in Klagenfurt.

“The reason I play beach volleyball is to play at Klagenfurt. Every year is special for us. Even though we’re playing in the Olympics, nothing beats Klagenfurt.”

Alex and Clemens will know their opponents in the main draw on Wednesday evening. To find out yourself, download the official A1 Beach App for IOS and Android (in Austria).

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