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World Championships Under 21 Men - 2001
France, Le Lavandou, 24-26 August

Historic Argentinian 

World Championship title

Mariano Baracetti and Martin Conde new World Champions

Klagenfurt, Austria, 5 August 2001 - Cool winds that blew in across Centre Court for the first time since the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships began on Wednesday failed to cool the passions of the all-South American finalists on Sunday. Mariano Baracetti and Martin Conde of Argentina celebrated a 2-1 (25-23, 12-21, 20-18) victory in a gripping 3-setter over Brazilian masters Ricardo and Loiola in a match that could have gone either way at any time.

"We had a bit of luck with the draw, but we still had to win all our matches, " said the delighted Baracetti. "The Brazilians played very well in the second, but we came back in the third."

The Brazilians had four match points in the final minutes that were so exciting that had everyone in the almost 10,000 capacity-packed Center Court Stadium on their feet.

"We have only been playing together for a couple of months, but I am still happy that we made it to the final," said Ricardo of Brazil.

The first set went to the Argentine duo after a battle for every point drove the score to 23-all before Ricardo and Loiola became unsettled over a line call and let the set slip from their grasp at 25-23 for Baracetti and Conde. The Brazilian boys were swift with their response, seizing a five-point lead in the second to go up 15-10 with Riccardo's incredible blocking that often had the Argentines dumbfounded.

The tension mounted in the third set as each team claimed the advantage only to see their opponents level the score. It was beach volleyball at its best and a tribute to this championship, which will go down as a milestone in the sport's young history as a truly international event.

The match for third place was also memorable. Playing their characteristic 'risk everything' game, the big Norwegians Jorre Andre Kjemperud and "Viking" Vegard Hoidalen put their morning defeat behind them and served and blocked their way to victory against Americans Christian McCaw and Rob Heidiger.

The 2001 World Championships attracted some 100,000 spectators over the five days of competition, including visits by the FIVB President Dr. Ruben Acosta and his wife Malu, the governor of Carinthia, Dr. Joerg Haider and Formula I legend Niki Lauda. The party atmosphere reached fever pitch on Sunday as fans screamed their local war cry "That's the way.. .. uh huh.. We like it.. .. uh huh.." and put their special Austrian stamp on the proceedings by performing the unique "slow wave" to the tune of the Blue Danube Waltz.

"It's amazing! It's not like this anywhere else in the world," said Loiola of Brazil, looking around at the animated crowd. "Here in Austria they really know how to cheer."