2018-10-18 09:30:00 CEST

Russia & Sweden strike gold at Youth Olympics

Voronina/Bocharova and Ahman/Hellvig triumphed in Buenos Aires

Three teams from Europe at the women's podium at the Youth Olympics (Photocredit: Buenos Aires 2018)Three teams from Europe at the women's podium at the Youth Olympics (Photocredit: Buenos Aires 2018)

The beach volleyball gold medals of the 2018 Youth Olympic Games are all heading to Europe as Russia’s Maria Voronina and Mariia Bocharova and Sweden’s David Ahman and Jonatan Hellvig topped the tournament played in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

For 18-year-old Voronina and the 16-year-old Bocharova, the title in the Argentinean capital was the icing in the cake of a great season, in which they also won the Under-19 World Championship and the Under-20 European Championship.

The Russian rising stars defeated Italians Claudia Scampoli and Nicol Bertozzi in straight sets (21-19, 21-19) in the gold medal match of the Youth Olympics.

“We’ve been playing really well for the last couple of years,” Voronina said. “Being at the Youth Olympics was an honor and having the gold medal is very special.”

Norway’s Frida Bernsten, who is cousins with BeachVolley Vikings Anders and Hendrik Mol and sister of Matthias, and Emilie Olimstad took bronze after a three-set (18-21, 21-13, 15-9) victory over Americans Devon Newberry and Lindsey Sparks.

Duos from Sweden, the Netherlands and Argentina claimed the medals in the men's event (Photocredit: Buenos Aires 2018)Duos from Sweden, the Netherlands and Argentina claimed the medals in the men's event (Photocredit: Buenos Aires 2018)

In the men’s tournament, Ahman and Hellvig, who rebounded from a setback in the first match to claim the title, secured their gold medals with a two-set (22-20, 21-15) win over the Netherlands’ Yorick de Groot and Matthew Immers.

“It has been a dream for us,” Ahman commented afterwards. “It was a fantastic experience and to have the gold medal is amazing. We played in front of a lot of people and against teams we had never seen before, but we managed to continue having fun and it worked.”

The 17-year-old Hellvig and the 16-year-old Ahman had also won a Youth title earlier this year – they were the winners of the Under-18 European Championship in July.

The home team of Mauro Zelayeta and Bautista Amieva kept the bronze medal in Argentina after they beat Hungary’s Bence Streli and Artur Hajos in straight sets (21-15, 21-15) to finish third.

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