2019-06-16 20:46:00 CEST

Evandro and Bruno dethrone the Vikings

The Brazilians stopped the Norwegians’ run to win their first World Tour gold medals together in Warsaw

Evandro and Bruno top the podium in Warsaw flanked by Norwegians and Russians (Photocredit: FIVB)Evandro and Bruno top the podium in Warsaw flanked by Norwegians and Russians (Photocredit: FIVB)

The Beach Volleyball Vikings have finally been stopped. After winning 23 consecutive matches and three-straight gold medals on the World Tour, Anders Mol and Christian Sørum felt the taste of defeat at the hands of Brazilians Evandro Goncalves and Bruno Schmidt, who downed the Norwegians to take the title of the four-star event in Warsaw, Poland - the last international tournament before the start of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships Hamburg 2019 presented by comdirect and ALDI Nord on June 28.

Australians Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho will also carry good momentum to the biggest event of the season in just two weeks as they prevailed in the women’s tournament at the Polish capital.

Partners since February, Evandro and Bruno, who are both world champions, won a World Tour event for the first time since their union. It was also Bruno’s first triumph since May 2017, when he dominated an event in Rio de Janeiro with former partner Alison Cerutti.

In Warsaw, they recovered from a massive first-set setback to hand Mol and Sørum just their second defeat in nine gold medal matches with an 11-21, 21-17, 15-12 score.  

“This tournament was important for us because I came here not in my best conditions,” Bruno said afterwards. “It wasn’t easy, so to have a finish like that at such a high-level tournament is very satisfying. I noticed that the Norwegians were also very tired after reaching the finals in so many tournaments, but we knew it was going to be a tough battle. Evandro and I tried to push each other as much as possible. He was a monster in this tournament and I give him all the credit. I was so close to giving up, but Evandro pushed me hard to keep going.”

Konstantin Semenov and Ilya Leshukov came out on top of the all-Russian bronze medal match as they posted a 21-19, 17-21, 16-14 victory over Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Viacheslav Krasilnikov to finish third at the Polish capital.

Artacho and Clancy defeated Americans Stockman and Larsen in the Warsaw final (Photocredit: FIVB)Artacho and Clancy defeated Americans Stockman and Larsen in the Warsaw final (Photocredit: FIVB)

In the women’s tournament, Clancy and Artacho, who are on the verge of their first World Championships together, won their fifth World Tour gold as a team after the downed Americans Kelley Larsen and Emily Stockman, who started their campaigns in Warsaw on country-quota, with a straight-set (22-20, 21-17) triumph.

“We are going into the World Championship with the same mentality – point by point, game by game,” Clancy commented. “I am so excited to go back to Hamburg. It’s such a great event and it would be amazing to be in the same position we are today.”

As in the men’s event, the bronze medal match was a national matchup with Agatha Bednarczuk and Duda Lisboa prevailing over fellow Brazilians Maria Elisa Antonelli and Carol Salgado in two sets (23-21, 21-16).

The World Tour also had a one-star event at the Ios Island, in Grecce, this weekend, which saw European teams take all six podium spots. Among the men, France’s Florian Gosselin/Jeremy Silvestre took gold, Russia’s Maxim Sivolap/Artem Yarzutkin won silver and Czech Republic’s Filip Habr/David Lenc claimed bronze. In the women’s tournament, Greece’s Dimitra Manavi/Konstantina Tsopoulou were first, Romania’s Ioana-Alexandra Ordean/Beata Vaida finished second and England’s Ellie Austin/Anaya Evans took third.

National Tour winners in Europe

Some World Championships-bound players also found success at national level this week. That was the case for Sven Winter, who will partner with Alexander Walkenhorst in Hamburg, but joined forces with Lars Lückmeier to win the German Tour stop in Dresden. They defeated Manuel Harms and Richard Peemüller in the final and were also joined by the Poniewaz twins Bennet and David at the podium. Sabrina Karnbaum and Natascha Niemczyk were the winners among the women with the Overländer twins Sarah and Lena taking silver and Anna Behlen and Anne Krohn claiming bronze.

The medal winners of the German Tour stop in Dresden (Photocredit: Die Techniker Beach Tour)The medal winners of the German Tour stop in Dresden (Photocredit: Die Techniker Beach Tour)

In Vlissingen, Belgians Dries Koekelkoren and Tom Walle, who will compete in Hamburg in less than two weeks, continued their prepation with a gold medal at the Dutch Tour. They downed Jasper Bouter and Ruben Penninga in the final and were also flanked by Yorick de Groot and Matthew Immers at the podium. Veterans Marloes Wesselink and Sophie van Gestel took the women’s title and were joined by Katja Stam/Julia Wouters and Mexime van Driel/Iris Reinders in the podium.

Austria also staged a National Tour event this weekend, in Innsbruck, and Slovenia’s Tsaja Jancar and Tjasa Kotnik topped the podium of the women’s tournament, followed by the home team of Valerie Teulf/Eva Freiberger and Austrian Stephanie Wiesmeyr and Slovakian Silvia Poszmikova. In the men’s event, the title stayed at home with Alexander Huber and Christopher Dressler topping Czech Republic’s Robert Kufa and South Africa’s Leo Williams in the final. Michael Murauer and Simon Frühbauer were third.

European Under-18 champions in Austria

Austria also hosted the Under-18 European Championships in the town of Baden, which saw teams from Russia and Germany dominate. The women’s title went to Russian favorites Mariia Bocharova, a 2018 Youth Olympics and Under-19 world champion, and Elizaveta Gubina, while Spain’s Ana Vergara and Tania Moreno took silver and Czech Republic’s Marketa Svozilova and Eliska Tezzele claimed bronze. The men’s winners were Germany’s Leon Meier and Lu Wüst, followed by Slovenia’s Rok Mozic and Rok Bracko and Russia’s Ivan Osipov and Anatolii Vasilenko.

Teams from Russia and Germany topped the podium at the U-18 European Championships (Photocredit: CEV)Teams from Russia and Germany topped the podium at the U-18 European Championships (Photocredit: CEV)

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