2019-06-02 22:44:00 CEST

A hat-trick for the Vikings in Ostrava

Anders Mol and Christian Sørum took their third-straight World Tour gold at the Czech Republic

Mol and Sørum celebrate their third-straight World Tour gold medal (Photocredit: FIVB)Mol and Sørum celebrate their third-straight World Tour gold medal (Photocredit: FIVB)

Beach Volley Vikings Anders Mol and Christian Sørum continued their stunning form ahead of the World Championships as the young Norwegians won a gold medal in a World Tour four-star event for the third-straight week on Sunday, when they topped the podium in Ostrava.

To claim their third gold in as many weeks and on as many continents following wins in Brazil and China, Mol and Sørum had to end the gold medal hopes of local heroes Ondrej Perusic and David Schweiner in the final in front of a packed center court. The Vikings, who are undefeated in 18 matches and won 30 of their last 32 World Tour games, downed the Czechs 17-21, 21-15, 15-10.

“We played so well lately and to play here in Ostrava is so much fun,” Mol said afterwards. “And this audience gives us so much energy. The Czech guys played really, really well today and for the whole tournament. I was almost hoping for them to win because it’s their home court and it’s really special. So I hope next year they will win the gold medal”.

Poland’s Grzegorz Fijalek and Michal Bryl completed the all-European podium in Ostrava following a three-set (10-21, 21-19, 15-7) victory over Russians Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Viacheslav Krasilnikov.

Duda and Agatha returned to the top of the podium for the first time since August (Photocredit: FIVB)Duda and Agatha returned to the top of the podium for the first time since August (Photocredit: FIVB)

In the women’s tournament, Brazil claimed both gold and silver as Agatha and Duda topped Ana Patricia Ramos and Rebecca Cavalcanti in straight sets (21-19, 21-17) to finish on top. It was the first title of the Brazilian since they won the 2018 World Tour Finals, last August.

“We needed all the concentration and focus to come back strong after we lost a game on the first day,” Agatha remarked. “We had a hard way to this final. On our way, we had Australian girls, American girls, then more American girls, and now Brazilian girls, so it took all our strength to win this first place.”

Reigning European champions Sanne Keizer and Madelein Meppelink of the Netherlands were third, securing their second World Tour bronze medal together, after they beat American veterans Kerri Walsh Jennings and Brooke Sweat also in two sets (25-23, 21-17).

Chinese take home gold in Nantong

If the Czech weren’t able to celebrate a World Tour gold in their home sand, China’s Jingzhe Wang and Shuhui Wen did it as they captured the title of the women-only two-star event in Nantong. The Asians topped the podium in front of their fans after a three-set (21-9, 18-21, 15-12) victory over Brazilians Carolina Horta and Angela Vieira in the final. Russians Ksenia Dabizha and Daria Rudykh took bronze after they defeated Poland’s Aleksandra Gromadowska/Jagoda Gruszczynska in two sets (21-13, 21-16).

The Nantong podium had teams from China, Brazil and Russia (Photocredit: FIVB)The Nantong podium had teams from China, Brazil and Russia (Photocredit: FIVB)

Slovakia and Lithuania dominate CEV Continental Cup

Back to European soil, the Irish city of Bettystown hosted the pool C of Phase 1 of the CEV Continental Cup, the regional qualification system to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Slovakia and Estonia, among the women, and Lithuania and Ukraine, for the men, advanced to Phase 2, which will be played in 2020.

According to the competition format, each nation is represented by two teams and Andrea Strbova/Natalia Dubovcova and Lubica Siposova/Eva Elekova helped Slovakia to top the women’s tournament. Heleene Hollas/Liisa Soomets and Anett Hollas/Juudit Kure-Pohhomov secured the second spot for Estonia, overcoming tandems from Ireland and Denmark.

Female teams from Slovakia and Denmark competed in Bettystown this weekend (Photocredit: CEV)Female teams from Slovakia and Denmark competed in Bettystown this weekend (Photocredit: CEV)

Among the men, Arnas Rumsevicius/Lukas Kazdailis and Artur Vasiljev/Robert Juchnevic propelled Lithuania to the first place, followed by Ukraine, which lined up the teams of Sergiy Popov/Iaroslav Gordieiev and Denys Denysenko/Vladyslav Iemelianchyk. Hosts Ireland and Scotland were the two nations playing in Bettystown.

National Tour winners in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands

The weekend also featured National Tour action in Europe with Germany having its third event of the season and the Netherlands, the fourth. In Nürnberg, German veteran Jonathan Erdmann and his partner Max Betzien claimed gold, followed by Manuel Lohman/Jonas Schröder, who got silver, and World Championships-bound Alexander Walkenhort/Sven Winter, who took bronze.

The women’s tournament podium had Christine Aulenbrok/Sandra Ferger on top, flanked by second-placed Melanie Gernert/Elena Kiesling and third-placed Lisa Arnholdt/Natasha Niemczyk.

Die Sieger aus Nürnberg! Herzlichen Glückwunsch Beachteam Aulenbrock/Ferger und Max Betzien & Jonathan Erdmann zum Turniersieg! 💐 #TBTNürnberg #TechnikerBeachTour #BeachVolleyball

Posted by Die Techniker Beach Tour on Sunday, June 2, 2019

In Heerenveen, World Tour regulars Jolien Sinnema and Laura Bloem prevailed over Emi van Driel and Raisa Schoon in the final to secure gold. The bronze medal went to Katja Stam and Julia Wouters.

Among the men, Dirk Boehlé and Stefan Boermans were the winners over Jannes van der Ham and Thijs Nijeboer. Mees Blom and Yorick de Groot were the third-placed duo in the event.

Stefan Boermans and Dirk Boehlé won the Dutch tour event in Heerenveen (Photocredit: Dela Eredivisie Beach)Stefan Boermans and Dirk Boehlé won the Dutch tour event in Heerenveen (Photocredit: Dela Eredivisie Beach)

Austria also hosted a tournament this week, the third stop of the national tour, a men-only event in Wallsee. World Tour regulars Tobias Winter and Julian Hörl were the winners with Slovenia's Jan Pokersnik and Nejc Zemljak finishing second and Peter Eglseer and Florian Schnetzer ending in third place.

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