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Brazilian debutants Arthur and George Wanderley win U19 World Championship

Brazil's Arthur (left) and George Wanderley won gold in only their first international event
Porto, Portugal, August 3, 2014 - In only their first international event Arthur Diego Mariano Lanci and George Souto Maior Wanderley won a gold medal on Sunday. The Brazilians defeated Illia Kovalov and Oleh Plotnytskyi from Ukraine 2-1 (21-18, 21-23, 15-11) in the final of the FIVB U19 World Championships in Porto.

“I don’t know what to think of this”, said 17-year old George Wanderley. “But it is a really good feeling. To be the number one team in the world. I have no words for it.”

Arthur and George Wanderley started out well, winning the first set coming back from behind. The Ukrainians, who finished 9th at the U21 World Championships last week, won the second one, but it was close and they needed three set points to enforce a third set.

In the tiebreak Brazil immediately took a four-point lead and with strong serving and decent defence throughout the rest of the set it was enough to claim the gold at their second match point.

“It was a very tough match”, said George Wanderley. “The Ukraine team played very hard, they have a great serve, and both of them are tall players, great players. It was a true final indeed.”

“I actually don’t know what made the difference in the end”, he continued. “We just tried to play our best and tried not to make mistakes. They made more mistakes in the end. So we ended up winning.”

It was only the second gold medal in the 13-year history of the boy’s U19 competition and the third overall medal. Ukraine added silver to the gold in 2009 and the bronze in 2007.

“It is my first big final, so I am happy with silver anyway”, said 17-year old Plotnytskyi. “But it was not Brazil who won, we lost. We just made too many mistakes.”

First medal for Tigrito and Peter

Venezuela’s Tigrito Gomez and Peter Hernandez shook off their disappointment over the lost semifinal to Brazil and won the bronze medal with a 2-0 (21-18, 21-19) win over Dutch team Jasper Bouter and Tom van Steenis.

It is their first medal ever, and the second for Venezuela in a FIVB age group event. In 2005 Jackson/Villafane won a silver medal at the U21 World Championships.

“I’m very happy indeed with this third place”, said Tigrito. “Because last year I came in fifth, so I’m really pleased with the bronze medal.”

“Of course it was disappointing to lose the semifinal, but we have to think always about the next game and keep our heads up”, he continued.

“In the end turning the page is very important and we came in third, we already did better than last year which was one of our goals so that’s good.”

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