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2017-06-13 15:49:00 CEST

Olympic champ aiming for Poreč prize again

Alison gunning for gold once more

The Mammoth celebrates winning a point at last year's Poreč Major, which he and Bruno went on to win. Photocredit: Martin Steinthaler.The Mammoth celebrates winning a point at last year's Poreč Major, which he and Bruno went on to win. Photocredit: Martin Steinthaler.

Reigning World and Olympic champion Alison Cerutti cannot wait to return to the Poreč Major – and win gold for the second year running.

The Croatian coastal city has hosted Swatch Major Series for the past two years and has become one of the favorite destinations for fans and players – none more so than star man Cerutti.

The Brazilian, who prepares to play in the city for the third straight year at the event between June 27 and July 2, finished 17th in 2015 before going on to win gold last year with partner Bruno Schmidt.

But, for the man known on the tour as the Mammoth, the feeling of playing in Poreč goes far beyond the results he gets on the court.

“Playing in Poreč is always amazing,” says Alison. “It is a very beautiful place with the perfect weather for beach volleyball and amazing fans, who fill the stands and show their love for the sport during the entire tournament.

“It’s always exciting to play in such a fantastic atmosphere and I’m pretty sure every athlete loves being there. I believe Poreč is en route to becoming a mandatory and traditional stop in the World Tour.”

Besides defending the title they won in 2016, Alison and Bruno are also looking forward to showing a strong performance as the duo approaches the most important tournament of the season: the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, presented by A1, in Vienna, between July 28 and August 6.

“The Majors are special tournaments and very important ones,” Alison adds. “We need to get as many points as we can to have a successful season and that’s where we need to show our best.

“We were fifth on the first Major in Fort Lauderdale in February after training for only one week and we feel that we are better prepared and in a good form now. Our main goal in 2017 is to defend our world title, but the Majors are also a big part of our plans.”

As a Brazilian it goes without saying that Alison is a big soccer fan. Indeed, the 31-year-old dreamt of playing the game before he moved into beach volleyball.

In Poreč, Alison may get the chance to play against Croatian soccer star Ivan Perišić, who will compete in the main draw with teammate Niksa Dell’Orco. The Olympic champion praised the Croatian’s initiative of donating the prize money earned at the event back to the Croatian volleyball federation.

“I think it’s an awesome act of generosity,” said Alison. “If I have the chance, I’d like to congratulate him in person for that.

“Our sport is growing a lot around the world following the amazing Olympic Games in Rio and I hope that these resources help Croatian beach volleyball to become stronger.”

Remember the Poreč Major kicks off in two weeks’ time and entry to see Alison, Ivan Perišić and a host of beach volleyball stars is free of charge. For that extra-special experience, check out our VIP packages.

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