2017-04-24 14:44:00 CEST
Great season start for the Dutch duo
After what seems like eons, Dutch team and Olympic bronze medalists Brouwer/Meeuwsen bounced back to form and claimed gold at the 3-star event in Xiamen, China over the weekend.
The team was last seen on the sand at the Swatch World Tour Finals in Toronto last year – not to mention forgetting that epic performance at the Rio Summer Olympics – where the pair got podium cred alongside Italy’s Nicolai/Lupo, who snagged silver and of course Brazil’s Alison/Bruno Schmidt who bagged gold.
Xiamen seemed like it was the place for settling scores and exacting revenge as Brouwer/Meeuwsen beat USA’s Rosenthal/Trevor Crabb in the quarterfinals, knocking them out of the tournament and thrashing Nicolai/Lupo in the gold medal match with a perfect 2-0 score in order to bite down on their coveted gold medals.
“We lost the final and we know that we can do something better, but we have to say that the opponents today played amazing in the serve and put a lot of pressure on us, so congratulations to the Netherlands they played amazingly,” said Nicolai in an interview with the FIVB.com.
On the ladies side, it was a meeting of East versus West as home favorites, Chinese twosome Wang/Yue, beat Germany’s Bieneck/Schneider (who had previously won every match up until that point) in a close, anything-could’ve-happened semifinal. The Germans bowed out and took a handsome third place on the podium.
The final match saw Wang/Yue surrendering to the Brazilian cha-cha. Brazil’s Barbara/Fernanda not only topped the podium and claimed gold but also succeeded in winning their first World Tour title as a new team - no mean feat.
It’s still early in the beach volleyball season and we still have time for the claws, or the spikes, to come out - don’t forget the Poreč Major is just around the corner, so we’re expecting plenty more fireworks before the season really sparks into action!