2015-05-25 20:12:00 CEST
Each year, at the end of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, an Award Winning ceremony is held. The best players are awarded for outstanding achievements in different segments of the competition. Prizes are awarded on the basis of votes cast by players, coaches , judges and official organizers and therefore, selected players really are the best of the best.
Last year's ceremony brought new titles to already well-known stars of the sport , such as USA’s Phillip Dalhausser, who teamed for the second straight season with Sean Rosenthal in 2014. Phillip was selected the 2014 Most Outstanding Player of the Year as well as the Best Blocker, Best Setter and Best Server for the 2014 season. The American duo won three gold medals and $318,000 in earnings.
Janis Smedins from Latvia was selected as the 2014 Best Hitter and combined with teammate Aleksandrs Samoilovs honored as the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball Team of the Year. The Latvian duo finished the 2014 FIVB international season No. 1 in the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball final World Season Rankings as well as winning the FIVB World Tour season point championship for the second consecutive year.
In his first full season of FIVB international competition, USA’s Tri Bourne was selected as the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball Rookie of the Year while Brazil’s Bruno Oscar Schmidt was voted the Best Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season.
Brazilian star, Emanuel Rego was voted the Sportsman of the Year for the fifth time in the 10-year history of these special awards and USA’s Jacob Gibb was named the Most Inspirational for the second consecutive year. Paolo Nicolai from Italy was selected as the 2014 Best Offensive Player on the FIVB World Tour and USA’s Ryan Doherty was honored as the Most Improved Player on the 2014 FIVB World Tour.
Prizes are awarded separately in male and female category . The most famous face of this competition within female competition is certainly Kerri Walsh Jennings, 36 and a mother of three. She was selected as the 2014 Most Outstanding player for the fourth time and third straight year as well as being honored in 2014 as the FIVB’s Best Blocker, Best Offensive Player and Most Inspirational Player of the Year. Walsh Jennings is tied with Larissa França Maestrini, with 50 FIVB career gold medals. Larissa was voted for 2014 as the tour’s Best Defensive Player and Best Setter. She has now won the Best Defensive Player award three times and the Best Setter award an amazing eight times in the 10-year history of these prestigious awards. Larissa, who teamed with Talita midway through the 2014 season and won four gold medals, now has $1,457,237 in FIVB career earnings.
Talita Da Rocha Antunes was selected as the 2014 Best Hitter for the second straight season while the three first-time winners in 2014 were Switzerland’s Tanja Huberli , as the Most Improved Player, Canada’s Humana-Parades as the Top Rookie, and Germany’s Karla Borger as the Best Server.
Brazilians Juliana Felisberta Da Silva and Maria Antonelli were awarded for the best team of the year, winning first place in the final of the FIVB tour season for women . That was Juliana's eighth victory in career, therefore it is not surprising she was also voted as the Sportsperson of the Year.
From June 2-7 these beach volleyball's biggest names will rule the sand courts in Poreč Croatia.
See the full list of 128 players, who are coming to Croatia to kick-off the first stop of the Swatch Beach Volleyball Major Series.