Men's U21 Event 2004
PORTUGAL, Porto Santo

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Amo & Lario Net Spain's Second Men's FIVB U-21 World Championship
Porto Santo, Portugal, September 19, 2004 - Eighth-seeded Miguel Angel Amo and Inocencio Lario captured Spain's second men's FIVB U-21 World Championships for Beach Volleyball players under 21 years old here Sunday afternoon by defeating 24th-seeded Valters Ramma and Toms Smedins of Latvia in the gold medal match.

With the 20-year old Lario hampered by a right thigh bruise, the Spaniards posted a 21-19 and 21-12 win in 32 minutes to defeat Ramma (19 years old) and Smedins (18), who had to qualify for the 24-team Main Draw.

"My thigh was hurting, but winning the gold medal makes the pain go away," said Lario as he and Amo (19) followed in the footsteps of Pablo Herrera and Raul Mesa, who captured the 2002 FIVB U-21 World Championships for Spain in Italy. "Winning the gold medal was very important for us and we played well for today's two matches."

Lario hurt his thigh in Sunday's second semi-final match as the Spaniards rallied from a first set defeat to upset second-seeded Moisés Santos (20) and Pedro Solberg Salgado (18) of Brazil 19-21, 23-21 and 15-13. The 68-minute semi-final match, the longest of the competition, also featured the two countries that competed for the first two FIVB U-21 titles in France (2001) and Italy (2002).

Ramma and Smedins earned a spot in the finals with an 18-21, 21-18 and 15-13 win in 59 minutes over 20th-seeded Tom Götz (19) and Stefan Uhmann (18) of Germany in Sunday's first semi-final match at the new Beach Sports Stadium on Penedo do Sono. It was the eighth-straight win of the competition for the Latvians, including two qualifying wins Wednesday.

"Except for our last set against the Spaniards, we played very good Beach Volleyball this week," said Smedins, who had finished fifth and ninth at the last two FIVB U-18 World Championships with different partners. "I don't think we tired in the last set. It was a case that the Spaniards just played better and took advantage of our mistakes."

As for the experience this week, Ramma called the event "excellent. I really enjoyed myself and the organization did a good job. Obviously, we had a tougher road to the finals than the other teams, but an opportunity to win a gold medal at a major event does not come along every day. I am just disappointed that we didn't play better at the end."

In the bronze medal match, Santos and Solberg Salgado posted a 21-17 and 25-23 win in 39 minutes over Götz and Uhmann. The Germans had also qualified for the Main Draw with a preliminary win Wednesday.

Presented by SWATCH, the FIVB U-21 World Championships concluded two weeks of international events for players under 21-years old. The FIVB U-18 World Championships were held last week in Termoli, Italy, where teams from Lithuania (men, Arunas Kirsnys and Arvydas Miseikis) and Poland (women, Katarzyna Urban and Joanna Wiatr) won the gold medals.
Press releases
Date Press release
19-Sep-2004 Amo & Lario Net Spain's Second Men's FIVB U-21 World Championship
19-Sep-2004 Latvians & Spaniards Spoil Title Rematch Plans at Men's FIVB U-21 Worlds
18-Sep-2004 Brazil, Germany, Latvia & Spain Compete for Men's FIVB U-21 World Title
18-Sep-2004 Brazil & Latvia Headed for Men's FIVB U-21 World Championship "Final Four"
17-Sep-2004 Brazil & Germany Protect Men's FIVB U-21 World Championship Seeds
16-Sep-2004 Germany & Latvia Lead Men's FIVB U-21 World Championships
15-Sep-2004 Brazil, Germany, Latvia & Venezuela Advance in FIVB U-21 Worlds, but for others...

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