Italian Star Zaytsev to Try Beach Volleyball

Ivan Zaytsev beach volleyball

Italian volleyball icon Ivan Zaytsev is set to explore a new chapter in his career by diving into professional beach volleyball. Teaming up with fellow Olympic medalist Daniele Lupo, the 35-year-old will spend the next few months assessing if this new venture will become a full-time commitment.

Training under the renowned coach Marco Solustri, Zaytsev and Lupo have been working hard for the past 20 days. They will debut this weekend at a stop on the Italian domestic tour in Caorle. “I’m excited and confident that we can achieve great things,” Zaytsev stated at a press conference on Monday. “We share a strong desire to succeed, but we’re still a work in progress. Our initial goal is to gauge our current level during the Italian tour and see how much I can improve in this sport.”

Both Zaytsev and the 33-year-old Lupo, who won silver medals at the Rio 2016 Olympics (Zaytsev in volleyball and Lupo in beach volleyball), have applied for a wild card entry to the European Championship in the Netherlands this August.

This isn’t Zaytsev’s first foray into beach volleyball; he competed in seven international tournaments between 2008 and 2009, clinching a silver medal at an FIVB World Tour Challenge event in Chennai, India, with Andrea Tomatis.

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Despite his beach volleyball ambitions, Zaytsev remains open to indoor volleyball next season. “I’m not ready to end my volleyball career yet and am looking for an interesting offer for the next two seasons,” he noted. “If I had retired, I would have made a significant announcement. Currently, I’m considering offers from Italy and abroad.”

Zaytsev, a stalwart of Italian volleyball for the past 15 years, boasts an impressive resume, including silver and bronze Olympic medals and numerous accolades in international competitions.

Lupo, who recently ended his partnership with Enrico Rossi and will miss the upcoming Olympics, is equally enthusiastic. “This feels like a rebirth after a challenging period in my career,” he said. “Training with Ivan has reignited my passion. We have high ambitions, and from the outset, I felt we could achieve something great. The upcoming months will be a test, but we are committed to playing at the highest international level.”

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