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Jurmala: Gold run for Samoilovs/Smedins

 
Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins win gold in front of home crowds at the FIVB Jurmala 3-Star
Jurmala, Latvia, August 25, 2019 - Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins earn their second FIVB gold in a row, taking the inaugural FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Jurmala 3-Star in front of a full centre court on Majori Beach. Silver goes to Estonia’s Kusti Nõlvak and Mart Tiisaar and the bronze was won by Aliaksandr Dziadkou/Pavel Piatrushka from Belarus.



Samoilovs/Smedins pocket their second gold in a row following victory at the Moscow 4-Star one week earlier in another impressive week on the sands in Jurmala. The gold medal match saw Samoilovs/Smedins perform a spectacular turn-around of the first set-point against Estonia.

The Jurmala final was the second time the two teams have played, the first was this year during pool play at the Doha 4-Star, with Nõlvak/Tiisaar winning in straight sets.


Aleksandrs Samoilovs (left) and Janis Smedins (LAT) in front of a packed stadium during the Jurmala gold medal match

Nõlvak/Tiisaar appeared calm and composed, able to utilise the crowds energy and visibly enjoying their court time throughout the week in Jurmala. Some great blocks from Tiisaar began to edge the Estonians ahead to reach set point at 20-17.

An unbelievable display from Samoilovs/Smedins followed, with Samoilovs rescuing the first set point. Smedins’ smash closed the deficit further and an incredible run of points had the crowd in awe as the Latvians stole the set 23-21.

It was similarly close to start the second set, but Samoilovs/Smedins began to grow in confidence at the mid-point. Match point was taken with a perfect placement from Samoliovs, 2-0 (23-21, 21-14).


Aleksandrs Samoilovs (LAT) and Kusti Nõlvak (EST) during the Jurmala final

“We’re feeling a little bit tired, because in Russia we put out our best performance and then in this tournament, today was very tough. We felt a little slow and physically not very good and our serves didn’t work as we planned it. The Estonians played a perfect first set to 20-17 when they were leading and it was amazing how we could come back and win the first set. We didn’t show our best game but still we were fighting and the crowd was cheering for us, we just pushed ourselves to the maximum,” said Smedins.

“The crowds have been amazing, not only in the stadium, but outside watching on the big screen. A lot of fans and friends and family are here,” said Smedins.

The silver for Nõlvak/Tiisaar is their strongest FIVB result to date, with the team reaching two 3-Star quarterfinals this year in Sydney and Edmonton and earning silver at the Singapore 2-Star last year.

“Of course we are happy with the silver, just a tiny bit bitterness for the last match. We had a really good first set, we were close to getting it and they kept pushing with the serve really hard and we were struggling with this and this is when the second set went I think. But we’re really happy with the silver still,” said Tiisaar.

“The silver means that we played well and I’m happy that we played well. I’ve enjoyed it a lot, so many people and such a good atmosphere,” said Nõlvak.


Aliaksandr Dziadkou/Pavel Piatrushka (BLR) earn Jurmala bronze

The bronze went to Dziadkou/Piatrushka in a straight sets win over Germany’s Dollinger A./Stadie, 2-0 (21-19, 21-16).

The medal match was a tactical affair from the word go, with both teams feeling their way into the game. Breezy afternoon conditions on Majori Beach’s centre court produced tricky service conditions with multiple points lost to service errors throughout both sets.

Belarus secured the first set 21-19 and came out confidently in the second, gaining a four point lead. With Dollinger A./Stadie now on catch-up, Dziadkou/Piatrushka were proving difficult to penetrate and began to run away with the lead, earning the bronze in 31 minutes.

The bronze medal for the Belarus team is their first at an FIVB 3-Star event, after the pair won gold at the Göteborg 1-Star this year.


Pavel Piatrushka (BLR) during the Jurmala bronze medal match

“We feel good, we’re happy with our bronze. We are feeling quite tired, we wanted to play with more accuracy today, and play more of a smart game. This is the biggest result for our team, so we’re happy,” said Dziadkou.

The final four finish for Dollinger A./Stadie is also an impressive result for the German team, who teamed up for the first time in Jurmala.



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