2019-03-19 10:15:00 CET
Olympic and World championship partnership call it quits
Just nine months into their partnership, reigning Olympic champion Alison Cerutti and the current World Champion André Loyola Stein have gone their separate ways after a string of disappointing results.
The decision comes after the Brazilians posted a 17th-place finish in the four-star FIVB World Tour event in Doha, Qatar, last weekend.
They debuted with a 17th-place finish in Ostrava, Czech Republic, in June 2018 just a month after the pair had split from previous teammates Bruno Oscar Schmidt and Evandro Gonçalves.
Alison and André then improved to finish fifth in Warsaw before back-to-back 25ths in Espinho and Gstaad. They lost to Bruno and Pedro Solberg in Vienna in August to finish ninth but ended the season with their first medal together, a silver after finishing second in the four-star event in Moscow.
491 Likes, 14 Comments - Alison e André Stein 🇧🇷 (@alison_andrestein) on Instagram: "Quem curtiu esse #tbt comenta!"
However, the duo finished ninth in Yangzhou in October before they crashed out in Doha last week, with André, who became the youngest beach volleyball world champ when triumphing in Vienna in 2017, initiating the end of the partnership.
“It was not an easy decision,” said 24-year-old André. “We had a lot of expectations, a well-planned project, but unfortunately we did not get the results. It was not for lack of commitment, training and dedication.
“We are starting the Olympic race and, thinking about the dream we have, to be in Japan next year, I think the time to make that decision was now. I have a lot of respect and affection for Alison, for Leandro, the friendship between us is strengthened even more after this period.”
Alison, who now faces a fight to qualify for next year’s Olympics, let alone defend his title, added: “It was André’s decision and I have to respect him,” said the 33-year-old blocker. “I understand his side and I’m sad because our team tried everything, worked hard to achieve the results, but they did not come.
“Sadly, the partnership ends, but a friendship is much stronger than we had before, a very strong relationship, of brothers.
“It happened suddenly and that is the moment to be calm. I'm not thinking about partner yet. I want to get home and evaluate the options calmly.”
It remains to be seen with whom both players will team up with, with the World Championships in Hamburg now under 100 days away.