Curiously both the men’s and women’s winners were the only non-
European teams to win medals in Fuzhou.
Spain’s Elsa Baquerizo and Liliana Fernandez only won their first FIVB
medals at the 2012 Åland Open, but showed that they are growing
in confidence as a pair by beating Germany’s Katrin Holtwick and
Ilka Semmler in their semifinal before claiming the silver medal. The
German duo in turn recovered from that loss to beat The Netherland’s
Madelein Meppelink and Sophie van Gestel to win the bronze medal
and make it three medals in their last four FIVB tournaments.
We are very lucky because we have been able to start the season
with a very good momentum,” Liliana said. “Last year, we were able
to end the season with our first medal and this year we have started
with not one, but two medals (including a bronze medal at the CEV
Antalya Satellite).”
Italian’s Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo may have lost to Rosenthal and
Dalhausser in the men’s gold-medal match, but their silver was their
third FIVB medal. Meanwhile Austrian duo Alexander Huber and Robin
Seidl won their first FIVB medals with an impressive victory against
Brazil’s Ricardo Santos and Alvaro Filho in the bronze-medal match.
We’re feeling great,” Huber said after the victory. “When we
started in the tournament our goal was to qualify, our next goal
was to get through the group and then our next goal was to make
it through the next match and the next match. We did it and won
match after match.”
If Fuzhou was all about new challengers continuing to make their
mark, then Shanghai was dominated by one of the giants of beach
volleyball reasserting its power.
Brazil claimed four of the podium places in Shanghai. Most
satisfying of all was that three of them went to new partnerships,
while the other went to a team who had missed the whole of the
Talita Antunes and Taiana Lima had only been together for a few
months, but they appeared as though they had been playing