2018-05-07 03:48:00 CEST
Brouwer/Meeuwsen win four-star on American sand
Dutch duo Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen ended a 22-year wait for a European men’s gold medal on US soil as they took home the Huntington Beach Open title on Sunday.
Not since Björn Maaseide and Jan Kvalheim’s victory in 1996 on Hermosa Beach had a European team stood on top of the podium on the FIVB World Tour in a tournament in the United States.
But after a nine-match run here in California, it was the Netherlands’ 2016 Olympic bronze medalists who came out on top. Alex and Robert secured the title 21-16, 21-15 with an impressive display against reigning World Champions Evandro Gonçalves and Andre Loyola Stein in the final.
Brouwer and Meeuwsen, who won the World Championships in 2013, denied Brazil a double-gold after Fort Lauderdale Major champions two months ago, Barbara Seixas and Fernanda Alves, picked up their second World Tour medal of the 2018 season.
In an all-Brazilian final, the heroes from Florida fought back to secure gold by beating Carol Solberg and Maria Antonelli in three sets, 16-21, 21-15, 15-9.
Maria and Carol had enjoyed a stunning route to the final, beating Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes in the semifinal. They took the first set but in the second, Barbara – Olympic silver medalist of 2016 – and Fernanda quickly established a lead to level up. With the confidence flowing through their veins, the FTL Major winners raced further clear to secure gold and another place on top of the podium.
In the bronze medal matches, Europe celebrated two bronze medals. Last season’s Gstaad Major winners Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude saw off the challenge of world number ones Pavan and Humana-Paredes in straight sets to take the women’s third place. While in the men’s battle for third, Spain’s Adrian Herrera and Pablo Herrera, who won their first medal of the season with a victory over Latvia’s Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins.
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