2018-07-22 21:32:00 CEST
The Norwegians did it again and became the youngest team to win the continental crown
If Anders Mol’s and Christian Sørum’s victory at the Swatch Major Gstaad was indeed a fairy tale, as they defined it, it didn’t end in the Swiss Alps. One week after becoming the youngest team to win a Beach Major Series event the Norwegians were crowned as the champions of the 2018 European Championship, in the Hague, the Netherlands, also being the youngest duo to accomplish that.
Mol, 21, and Sørum, 22, topped the podium of the 26th edition of the continental tournament after a straight-set (21-17, 21-13) victory over Latvians Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins, the European champions of 2015, in the gold medal match.
If in Gstaad the young players took their country back to the highest spot in the podium in the World Tour for the first time after 20 years, their triumph in Gstaad has made the Norwegian national anthem be played in the European Championships for the first time since 1997, when Vegard Hoidalen and Jorre Andre Kjemperud won in Riccione, Italy.
“For me this is unreal right now,” Mol commented. “We will have a couple of days back home, relax and think about what we have done here this week and in Gstaad too. I think we need time to process it, because we cannot really understand it right now. Despite this success, we want to improve. We still have not reached our full potential. I think we can still play better and that is what we are aiming for.”
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After 26 editions, ten nations have already won gold medals in the European Championships with Germany leading the way with five. Norway has now three titles as Jan Kvalheim and Björn Maaseide also prevailed in the second edition, in 1994.
Spanish veterans Adrián Gavira and Pablo Herrera, the silver medalists in Gstaad last week, finished third after a three-set (21-17, 13-21, 15-12) triumph over Russians Konstantin Semenov and Ilya Leshukov in the bronze medal match.
The four semifinalist tandems are all guaranteed in the main draw of the A1 Major Vienna and are set to compete in the Danube Island from August 1-5.