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Ricardo and Alvaro defeat familiar foes for Gstaad gold

Ricardo Santos (left) helped Alvaro Filho end his run of silver medals by winning in Gstaad
Gstaad, Switzerland, July 14, 2013 – Ricardo Santos and Alvaro Filho won their first gold medal as a team when they defeated Pedro Salgado and Bruno Oscar Schmidt in the final of the Gstaad Grand Slam on Sunday.
The FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships silver medallists defeated their compatriots 2-0 (21-16, 21-18). For Alvaro the gold was his first in FIVB competitions; he also won two silvers at U21 World Championships.

“I can’t believe it right now,” Alvaro said. “In our last competition we reached the final and won the silver, which was my third silver in FIVB competitions, and now it was time for gold, and the gold is different.”

“Playing here in Gstaad is different,” Ricardo added. “The crowd are always cheering us on and this is reminds me of playing in Rio.”

The gold is the first for Ricardo and Alvaro since they became a team at the start of the year. The 38-year-old Ricardo and 22-year-old Alvaro are a combination of one the most decorated players in the sport’s history and one of its up and coming stars. As well as the World Championships silver they also won bronze at the Shanghai Grand Slam. 

Their combination of youth and experience worked to perfection and they combined perfectly at match point. Ricardo set the ball high and Alvaro hit the winning smash with relish. 

“I want to feel this moment right now,” Alvaro said. “I love playing with Ricardo, he teaches me so much and even though he shouts at me on the court sometimes, it pushes me to be my best and then things are normal when we finish.”

For Pedro and Bruno the silver is their third medal on this year’s FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour and can be displayed alongside their gold medals from The Hague Grand Slam and silvers from Shanghai. 

The performances in Gstaad marked a return to form for the 2006 U21 world champions, after they had lost in the World Championships quarterfinals. 

“I’m really sad now because we lost, but it is amazing that Bruno and I are able to keep playing a high level of beach volleyball,” Pedro said. “That is what I am looking for and that is what I want. I don’t look for results, I look for how we play and unfortunately today they were better and deserved their win.”

Gibb and Patterson complete set with bronze

Jacob Gibb and Casey Patterson ensured that they completed their set of World Tour medals with a 2-0 (21-18, 21-18) win against world champions Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen. 

In only their first season together the pair now have bronze medals to go alongside the golds that they won at the Shanghai Grand Slam and silver from the Corrientes Grand Slam. They also finished second at the World Cup Finals. 

“It wasn’t an easy choice, it was a crazy choice, but I’m sure glad I made it,” Gibb said when asked why he chose Patterson as his new partner at the start of the year. 

“His best finish was a ninth on the World Tour, but I knew he didn’t have the right partner. I knew what a competitor he was; that is what sold him to me. He wants to win more than anybody.”

The Gstaad Grand Slam was the fifth Grand Slam of 10 on the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. The tournament began with women’s qualifying on Tuesday July 9 and ended with women’s and men’s medal matches on Sunday July 14. The next Grand Slam takes place in Long Beach, USA from July 22-27.

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FIVB Gstaad Grand Slam homepage
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FIVB Gstaad Grand Slam men’s entry list
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