Kerri Walsh Jennings said her p1440 pro volleyball tour, concert series and health and wellness venture would be open to international athletes of all levels and push to making the sport financially viable. She is proving that to be true in the first round of announced p1440 sponsored athletes.
“p1440’s sponsorship of these talented athletes is a big step in the right direction for the sport of beach volleyball at a national and international level,” Walsh Jennings said. “By directly sponsoring them, we’re changing the game for the athletes—supporting their careers in various ways and lifting them financially. We believe professional beach volleyball athletes should be treated with respect and acknowledged for their dedication, skills and hard work. We intend for these sponsorships to better allow these athletes to focus on their craft; this is a luxury not currently afforded in our sport. Change has come.”
Joining forces with the three-time Olympic gold medalist as p1440 athletes are:
- Maria Elisa Antonelli (Brazil)
- Carolina Solberg Salgado (Brazil)
- Pedro Salgado (Brazil)
- Janis Smedins (Latvia)
- Aleksandrs Samoilovs (Latvia)
- Adrian Gavira Collado (Spain)
- Pablo Herrera Allepuz (Spain)
- Miles Evans (USA)
- Bill Kolinske (USA)
All nine players will be in action and representing p1440 at the FIVB Ostrava Four-Star event in the Czech Republic from June 20-24.
Five of the nine athletes have Olympic experience, with Smedins taking bronze in London in 2012 and Herrera earning silver in Athens in 2004.
The group has found recent success on the FIVB World Tour as well.
Maria Antonelli/Carol were runner up at the Huntington Beach Open in May as well as the Hague Four Star in January.
Pedro Solberg finished fourth alongside George Souto Maior Wanderley at the Fort Lauderdale Five Star in March.
Smedins/Samoilovs were third at the Fort Lauderdale Five Star in March and finished fourth at the Huntington Beach Open in May.
Gavira/Herrera were third at the Huntington Beach Open in May and fifth at the Fort Lauderdale Five Star.
Evans/Kolinske were the runner up at the Aalsmeer One Star in October and finished third at the Sydney Two Star in November. Most recently, the pair was ninth at the Lucerne Three Star in May.
In addition to the nine P1440 sponsored athletes, Walsh Jennings and her partner Nicole Branagh will be in action at the Ostrava Four-Star event. This will be their first action since the Itapema Four Star in May, at which they finished ninth.
Below are brief bios of each athlete provided by p1440.
- Maria Elisa Antonelli (Brazil)—Antonelli won Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) Tour Champion 2014 as well as Team of the Year 2014 with her partner, Juliana Felisberta. She has also competed in the London 2012 Summer Olympics.
- Carolina Solberg Salgado (Brazil)—Known for her powerful spikes and intense accuracy, Salgado has made an international impression in the beach volleyball community. She captured gold in the 2004 FIVB Under-18 World Championship and again in the Under-21 World Championship in 2005.
- Pedro Salgado (Brazil)—Salgado comes from a family of beach volleyball and became the fourth youngest player to win an “open” SWATCH-FIVB World Tour gold medal in 2006.
- Janis Smedins (Latvia)—Smedins took home bronze at the London 2012 Summer Olympics and has won several FIVB awards, including Best Sportsperson 2013 and Best Offensive Player 2013 and 2016.
- Aleksandrs Samoilovs (Latvia)—Samoilovs is an experienced beach volleyball Olympian who’s competed in the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics and the London 2012 Summer Olympics.
- Adrián Gavira Collado (Spain)—Collado has taken home gold at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour 2016, competed in the London 2012 Summer Olympics and won FIVB Top Rookie 2008.
- Pablo Herrera Allepuz (Spain)—Allepuz has represented his country at the Olympics three times—taking home silver in Athens 2004 Summer Olympics.
- Miles Evans (USA)—Evans was one of four players selected to play in the World University Games in Portugal for the Under 26 USA Beach Volleyball Program. He is no stranger to competing internationally and has climbed the ranks in the USA with his partner Bill Kolinske.
- Bill Kolinske (USA)—Kolinske was ranked 12th in the United States and received the AVP’s Most Improved Player award in 2015. He continues to train on and off the court to keep his game strong playing internationally and domestic with his eyes set for Tokyo 2020 with his partner, Evans.