FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Gstaad MAJOR | 7 - 12 July 2015

#GstaadMajor


Press release

Gstaad Major men’s gold medal match features reigning world tour & world champions


Regaining their FIVB World Tour championship form are Aleksandrs Samoilovs (left) and Janis Smedins as the Latvians advanced to their first gold medal match in 2015 at the Gstaad Major Sunday morning.

Gstaad, Switzerland, July 12, 2015 - It will be the meeting Beach Volleyball’s “elite” here Sunday afternoon when newly-crowned FIVB “senior” world champions Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt of Brazil are challenged by two-time world tour leaders Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins of Latvia after both pairs won morning semi-final matches at the US$800,000 Gstaad Major.

The Gstaad Major finale will conclude the third of three SWATCH Major Series events this season.  The Gstaad Major is also the eighth men’s event on the world tour this season as the final two teams Sunday will be playing for the $57,000 first-place prize.

To set up Sunday’s gold medal match, the fifth-seeded Samoilovs and Smedins scored a 2-1 (19-21, 21-18, 15-12) win in 52 minutes over seventh-seeded Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen of The Netherlands in the first “final four” match.  Third-seeded Alison and Bruno eliminated 29th-seeded qualifiers Adrian Carambula and Alex Ranghieri from gold medal contention by posting a 2-0 (21-13, 21-12) semi-final win in 34 minutes over the Italians.

While the Latvians were playing Brouwer and Meeuwsen for the first-time on the FIVB World Tour, the Brazilians were playing Carambula and Ranghieri for the second-time.  The two teams staged an exciting two-set pool play match at May’s Russian Grand Slam in Moscow with Alison and Bruno winning 2-0 (33-31, 23-21) in 51 minutes.

Alison and Bruno, who defeated Dutchmen Reinder Nummerdor and Christiaan Varenhorst in three sets last Sunday in The Hague for the world championship gold medal, will be playing the Latvians for the fifth-time on the FIVB World Tour with the head-to-head series tied at 2-2.  Sunday’s meeting between the two teams will be the first this season as the pairs split their four matches last season with Samoilovs and Smedins winning the last meeting in the Brazilian Grand Slam in São Paulo last September.

With Sunday’s final match concluding the 322nd men’s FIVB World Tour event since the start of internationally-sanctioned events in 1987, Brazil and Latvia will be meeting for the fourth-time for a gold medal.  Brazil leads the head-to-head 2-1.  Samoilovs and Smedins have played in all three title matches against Brazil, including a two-set gold medal win over Evandro Gonçalves and Emanuel Rego in the 2013 Russian Grand Slam in Moscow.

An Alison and Bruno win over the Latvians will present Brazil with its 48th “gender” gold medal sweep at the same event on the FIVB World Tour.  Talita Antunes and Larissa Franca topped the women’s podium Saturday by defeating Fernanda Alves and Taiana Lima 2-0 (21-13, 21-17) in the 32-minute All-Brazilian gold medal match.  Brazilian women have won the last seven gold medals on the world tour this season after Canadian and German pairs topped the podiums in the first two events.

Following the Gstaad Major, the FIVB World Tour takes a week off before resuming in the inaugural Yokohama Grand Slam July 21-26.  It will mark the first-time that both men and women have competed together in Japan in a FIVB World Tour event.  Seven FIVB men’s only events were held in Japan from 1989-1995, including a 1991 on stop in Yokohama.  A total of 14 women’s only events were held in Osaka from 1994-2005 and in 2008 and 2009.


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