Next title in pocket: Dutch Champion
It does not stop at the successes of beach volleyball player Stefan Bormanns. The Dutch championship was added last weekend to the great victory bandwagon. He and partner Yorick de Groot have previously achieved high rankings at WorldTour tournaments, including a gold medal at the four-star tournament in Gstaad. Above all, it was the silver medal at the European Championships in Vienna, where Olympic champions Anders Mull and Christian Sorum of Norway had a tough time with the Dutch duo in the final.
A season with many highlights and the end is not in sight yet. There are still many shows of strength in the programme, with the World Finals also possible at the beginning of October, the tournament where only the world’s top ten beach volleyball teams are allowed to play on the sand. Whether the Boermans and De Groot belong on the list of the greats isn’t entirely certain yet, but they are now close to that absolute top. “We can play ball a bit,” said 26-year-old Borninar humbly. “After this year’s shows, we belong to the best teams and it feels really good!”
Only four years ago, the tall volleyball player decided to devote himself entirely to beach volleyball. Together with his then partner Casper Haanappel, he carefully dreamed on the sand at ‘t Wooldrik in Borne’ of being able to play at the Eredivisie level. Escalation went fast, very fast. “It’s all crazy fast. So unrealistic!” Reports always refer to the Boermans as “the surprise of the tournament” or “the sensation.” “We were always young dogs chasing the top. Now we’ve shown that you can’t just beat us. I think this ‘surprise’ will stop at some point.”
With young Yorick de Groot (only 21 years old), the Boermans has found what he considers to be the ideal partner. “No one is better. And together we are still growing. We are not at our peak yet. Almost, but there is a lot that can be done.” Participating in the Tokyo Olympics this year was not an option for Bormanns and de Groot. They only became a team recently and knew beforehand that they couldn’t collect enough points together to get the Olympic ticket. “When we started making the team last year, we were fourth in the Dutch standings. The Tokyo Olympics were never the goal. It’s kind of a shame that Tokyo passed us by, but we knew it beforehand. It’s great that we can now compete with such a higher level.” In terms of level! Our Olympiad is coming to Paris!”
Stefan Bormanns now lives in The Hague so he can focus fully on his sport. Still Scheveningen The place to be When it comes to beach volleyball. Every now and then he manages to find time to visit his home village. “Last weekend I met my friends again. But there was no long celebration. I miss it a bit but yes, the Dutch national championship was approaching and I wanted to play there too.” A party in Borne is sure to be on the agenda when the indoor beach hall at ‘t Wooldrik is completed. “Yes! Wouldn’t that be cool?” (AJ)
Photos © Pim Waslander
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