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Smedins and Samoilovs claim second gold with a great show

Latvia's Janis Smedins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs won gold again after three silver medals

Moscow, Russia, August 25, 2013 – With their last World Tour medal dating back to June, Janis Smedins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs came back strong with gold at the FIVB Moscow Grand Slam on Sunday. The Latvians defeated Brazil’s Emanuel Rego and Evandro Goncalves 2-0 (21-17, 21-16) in a spectacular final.

In a rainy Vodny Park both Latvia and Brazil warmed up the audience with a great show. Evandro and Smedins challenged each other in hitting the hardest attack, while great digs produced great rallies.

“It’s always fun to play someone who is taller than me”, Smedins said. “It’s like a challenge, I always want to win.”

The Latvians were challenged a few times, but hardly made any mistakes and used more variety in their attack. “I think we only made some service mistakes and one or two hits out. That’s all”, Smedins said.

“We played against Evandro like three times and we won all three times. We did our job, we just waited for them to make mistakes.”

Smedins, bronze medallist at the London Olympics, and Samoilovs teamed up this season, but already won gold in Corrientes and silver in The Hague and Rome. Since June there has been a gap in results.

“I think we were a bit tired from all these long trips and playing till Sunday in three tournaments. But now we are back”, Smedins said.

Just a few weeks they also claimed silver at the European Championships. Now it was time for gold again, Smedins said.

“We lost the final the last three times and we knew we had to change something. If you are in the final, you need not to think too much about the winning, but about the match. I think before we had more stress in the finals and now we just had fun and you saw the result.”

Samoilovs added: “For me to get a first gold in a Grand Slam was really tough, but to get the second is even harder. When you win a title in the beginning of your career nobody expects you to win, but now we are high in the world ranking and every team wants to beat us. Here it was much harder to get this gold medal than in Corrientes.”

Emanuel wrote history as the first player to win a medal in Moscow with three different partners. At the Moscow Open in 1999 he won bronze with Jose Loiola, in 2011 and 2012 gold with Alison Cerutti and now silver with Evandro.

The 40-year old veteran was very proud of Evandro, his temporary partner for Moscow and Beijing after the national federation decided to mix two teams up for the rest of the season.

“He was so brave, because the Latvians attacked him a lot. He did well. It’s good to see the young generation coming with a lot of power and toughness”, said the man that won 77 FIVB events, 36 silver and 40 bronze medals. For Evandro this was only his second medal after winning gold in Berlin with Vitor Felipe.

Ricardo and Alvaro win the bronze

Gstaad champions Ricardo and Alvaro Filho won the bronze medal with a 2-0 (21-15, 21-14) win over Austria’s Alexander Horst and Lorenz Petutschnig.

It is their fourth team medal after gold in Gstaad, silver at the World Championships and bronze in Shanghai. Another bronze is more than welcome Alvaro said.

“Every time you make a semifinal or the podium it is good for the team. It lifts your spirit and gives you confidence for the next competitions, because it’s the end of the year and we are tired. A podium and bronze is very special for us.”

FIVB Moscow Grand Slam Tournament Page
FIVB Moscow Grand Slam Men’s Main Draw
FIVB Moscow Grand Slam Women’s Main Draw
FIVB Moscow Grand Slam Twitter Account


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