Myslowice, Poland, June 9 – History was made at the inaugural FIVB U23 Beach Volleyball World Championships as Polish and German duos became the first teams to win gold at the age-group level.
Poland’s Piotr Kantor and Bartosz Losiak delighted the home crowd when they won the men’s gold, while German duo Victoria Bieneck and Isabell Schneider’s powered their way to the women’s title.
Polish pair add to golden collection
Kantor and Losiak beat Brazil’s Vitor Goncalves Felipe and Marcio Guadie Ley 2-0 (21-16, 21-7) in the men’s final. The win means they can add the U23 world crown to the FIVB U21 and U19 gold medals in their collections and confirms them as the pre-eminent age-grade players in the men’s game.
With both teams having played impressively on their way to the final, they matched each other in the early stages of the first set, but eventually Kantor and Losiak, roared on by a full centre court, pulled ahead to claim the first set.
The second began in much the same manner, but eventually the Poles won after Vitor Felipe was penalised for a double touch on their first match point. MORE
Germans too strong for Brazilians
Bieneck and Schneider had to fight back from losing the first set to become the inaugural FIVB U23 women’s champions.
The Germans beat Brazilian pair Eduarda Santos Lisbao and Thais Rodrigues Ferreira 2-1 (21-19, 12-21, 15-13) after the Brazilians held on to win the first set. Bieneck and Schneider responded strongly and came out in determined mood at the start of the second set. They won the first point and used that momentum to keep them ahead for the rest of the set.
In the tie-break the Germans were first to match point at 14-12 and while the Brazilians saved one, they were unable to stop Schneider from scoring the winning point with a fearsome smash. MORE
Canadians and Austrians bounce back to win bronze
Canadian pair Melissa Humana-Paredes and Taylor Pischke endured another tie-break, but held on to win the women’s bronze medals 2-1 (19-21, 21-15, 16-14). After letting one match point slip, they won when Pischke hit the winning spike.
Austria’s Lorenz Petutschnig and Tobias Winter meanwhile shrugged off the fatigue of five matches in two days to win the men’s bronzes with a 2-0 win over Latvia’s Rihards Finsters and Aleksandrs Solovejs. Winter brought up match point with a spike and then won the match with a similar shot a moment later. MORE
Thirty-two teams per gender took place in the main draw of the inaugural FIVB U23 Beach Volleyball World Championships. The main draw started on June 6 and the tournament runs through until Sunday, June 9 when both the men’s and women’s finals take place.
Myslowice, located 70km from Poland’s ancient capital Krakow, is hosting an FIVB age-group tournament for the third time, after successfully hosting the U19 and U21 version in 2006 and 2007.