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IOC President in the crowd for beach volleyball showdown

President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach waves to the spectators during the Beach Volleyball Women's Team Gold Medal Match at the Beach Volleyball Arena, Green Park. (Photo: Copyright of Olympic Information Services)

Buenos Aires, Argentina, October 18, 2018 - International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach joined thousands of passionate fans to watch the final of the women’s beach volleyball event at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games on Wednesday October 17.

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President Bach, accompanied by IOC Vice-President Prof. U?ur Erdener, Executive Board Member Willi Kaltschmitt Luján and IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell, was greeted by five-time Brazilian beach volleyball Olympian Emanuel Rego, before taking his place in the stands. Rego, a three-time Olympic medallist, including gold at Athens 2004, watched on alongside President Bach as Maria Voronina and Mariia Bocharova from Russia beat Italian duo Claudia Scampoli and Nicol Bertozzi in straight sets, to become Youth Olympic Champions. Frida Berntsen and Emilie Olimstad were victorious over USA duo Lindsey Sparks and Devon Newberry, securing a bronze medal for Norway.

IOC President Thomas Bach in conversation with Emanuel Rego and Argentinian Volleyball Federation (FeVA) President Juan Antonio Gutierrez

President Bach was then taken backstage where he spoke and took photos with young beach volleyball players who had competed in the event.

The men’s event reached its climax in the afternoon, with Sweden’s David Åhman and Jonatan Hellvig beating Matthew Immers and Yorick de Groot from the Netherlands 2-0 to claim gold. The home nation pairing of Mauro Zelayeta and Bautista Amieva completed the podium after a 2-0 victory over Artúr Hajós and Bence Streli of Hungary secured bronze.

With 128 athletes from 46 different countries competing, beach volleyball at the Games has brought together players and fans from all over the world, and President Bach remarked on the feel-good mood that has been a feature of the event.

"The atmosphere in Green Park for the beach volleyball at these Youth Olympic Games is incredible; the music and dance moves add to the passion and enthusiasm of the crowd to create a vibrant party spirit for the young athletes and for the crowd,” President Bach said.
“The girls' final really showed beach volleyball at is best. A packed stadium, great sport and a wonderful environment to match.”

General view of the women's final between Italy and Russia (Photo: Copyright of Olympic Information Services)

Throughout the 11 days of action, the stands in Green Park have been full as fans queued up to get a glimpse of the sport’s newest stars. Whether they were avid beach volleyball fans or first time spectators, the crowd got into the spirit of the Games by joining in with the specialised volleyball dance actions and upbeat music.  

With so many talented young athletes coming from across the globe to compete, the future of beach volleyball looks set to entertain for years to come.

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