2016-10-12 11:33:00 CEST
Home teams crush the opposition
Two weeks after their disappointment at the Rio Grand Slam on home sand at the Copacabana in February the Brazilians bounced back with a bang to scoop double gold at the Vitoria Open in March.
Yes, don’t worry your webpage doesn’t need refreshing! It’s the off-season and we’re continuing our look-back of the 2016 season by reflecting on the next tournament on the FIVB World Tour which saw the home favorites storm to success.
We’ll start with the women. All eyes were on number one seeds Larissa/Talita following their shock second round exit at the Rio Grand Slam. Did they have a point to prove? Did they have fire in their bellies? The answer to both of those questions was yes. They were unplayable all week. The Swatch FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Finals champions from 2015 won all seven matches without dropping a set. The longest time they spent on court for a single game was 39 minutes – and that came in the final against Americans Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross.
April and Kerri had no answers in what was a one-sided final but they still had the satisfaction of a silver medal to add to the gold they claimed in Rio two weeks before.
Joining them on the podium were German girls Holtwick/Semmler, who remarkably fought back from losing their first two games of the tournament in the pool play to battle their way to a bronze medal with a victory over Australian duo Bawden/Clancy.
Alison/Bruno were dumped out of the Rio Grand Slam at the quarterfinals stage – but they put that frustration well and truly behind them as they cruised to their first FIVB World Tour gold medal of 2016.
They lost their opening set of the tournament in their first match against Russians Liamin/Barsouk but never looked back after that – and they went on to clinch gold in style without dropping another set in the competition.
The classy Brazilians were too hot for Italians Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo to handle in a one-sided final that lasted just over half-an-hour on the Center Court.
Italy came close to grabbing two places on the podium but Alex Ranghieri and Adrian Carambula were unable to stop the Netherlands’ Brouwer/Meeuwsen from securing victory in the bronze medal match.
The Dutch duo were also responsible for ousting second seeds Gibb/Patterson in the last 16 and they celebrated their second successive bronze of the season having finished third in Rio two weeks before.
Graudina/Kravcenoka and Liliana/Elsa prevailed in the Qualification Tournament in China
Italians Lupo/Nicolai and Latvians Plavins/Tocs have qualified to next year’s Summer Games
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