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Russian men rule at Nanjing 2014 Olympic Games Beach Volleyball

The men's podium (left to right) at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games featuring Peter Hernandez and Tigrito Gomez of Venezuela, Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Artem Yarzutkin of Russia and Leandro Aveiro and Santiago Aulisi of Argentina.

Nanjing, China, August 27, 2014 - In a dominating performance featuring the blocking of towering Oleg Stoyanovskiy and the defense and attacking of Artem Yarzutkin, Russia claimed the Beach Volleyball gold medal here Wednesday evening by defeating a pesky Venezuela team in the men’s finale at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games.

The gold medal was the first-ever by a Russian men’s team in a FIVB-sanctioned events for players under the age of 23 since the start of the competition in 2001 as the 205 cm (6’9”) Stoyanovskiy teamed with Yarzutkin to post a 2-0 (21-12, 21-13) win in 30 minutes over Tigrito Gomez and Peter Hernandez at the 2,000-seat venue in the Nanjing Sports Park Complex.

The Russian victory also avenged a setback for Stoyanovskiy and Yarzutkin to the Venezuelans 25 days ago in the quarter-finals of the FIVB under-19 world championships in Portugal where Gomez and Hernandez scored a 2-1 (13-21, 24-22, 15-13) victory in a 49-minute match in Porto.

“This is unbelievable,” said Stoyanovskiy after the match.  “It is such a great feeling.  We played strong and our coach prepared us well.  We were ready to play today.  We are very proud to wear Russia on our chests.  We want to thank our fans for supporting us.  The score does not show how good [Venezuela] is.”

For Yarzutkin, he said it in very simple terms as his team’s “objective was to come here and win the gold medal, and we did it.”

Although defeated in the finale, Hernandez “was still very proud.  We want to thank all of the people who helped us.  This medal is for everyone in our country.”  As one of the most inspirational players in the competition due to his size (175 cm, 5’9”), Gomez said it was “amazing to bring a medal back to Venezuela.”

To reach Wednesday evening’s finale, Stoyanovskiy and Yarzutkin scored a 2-0 (21-11, 21-10) win in 28 minutes over Miro Maattanen and Santeri Siren of Finland in Wednesday first semi-final match.  Gomez and Hernandez, the bronze medal winners at the FIVB U19 event in Porto earlier this month, advanced to the finale by defeating South American rivals Santiago Aulisi and Leandro Aveiro of Argentina 2-0 (21-18, 21-19) in 38 minutes.

The Argentina team, coached by three-time Olympian Mariano Baracetti, claimed the bronze medal as Aulisi and Aveiro posted a 2-1 (21-10, 12-21, 15-12) win in 43 minutes over Maattanen and Siren, who were playing in their first-ever FIVB-sanctioned Beach Volleyball event.

“I am very happy,” said Aveiro as Argentina claimed it’s first-ever FIVB medal at an event for players under the age of 19.  “This is a great triumph.  “We lost in the semifinals, and then we got it together tonight.”  For Aulisi, it was a “really hard match.  After losing in the semi-finals, we concentrated more this evening and won this match by playing point-by-point.”

For Siren, “it is such a shame we lost.  We made bad mistakes, especially in the first set.  In the second set, we changed sides and played better.  This has been a great experience.  A fourth is still a really good result.”

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