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Year in Review - Russian pair top the world in Hamburg

Stoyanovskiy (left) and Krasilnikov lift the World Championship trophy after their victory in Hamburg
Lausanne, Switzerland, December 19, 2019 – Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Viacheslav Krasilnikov became the first Russian team to become world champions when they finished top of the podium at the Hamburg 2019 FIVB Beach Volleyball Men’s World Championship. 

They fought back from losing the opening set in the final to beat Germany’s Julius Thole and Clemens Wickler 2-1 (19-21, 21-17, 15-11) in front of the 13,000 fans who were packed into the Rothenbaum Stadium. 

In winning gold Stoyanovskiy and Krasilnikov bettered compatriots Dmitri Barsoek and Igor Kolodinski, who won silver when Swiss Alpine resort Gstaad hosted the 2007 edition of the tournament, while at 22 years, 9 months and 11 days Stoyanovskiy set a record as the youngest world champion. 

Throughout the tournament Stoyanovskiy showed his ability to dominate at the net, while behind him Krasilnikov was a bundle of energy and agility. 

“No words needed,” Stoyanovskiy said. “It’s incredible, I can’t describe my feelings. That’s what I worked towards for many years.”

Their run to the top of the beach volleyball world completed a remarkable 10 months for the pair who only teamed up for the first time at the end of 2018.

They began with a gold, a silver and a bronze in their first three tournaments and later finished the 2018-19 season by winning another gold at the Rome 2019 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Finals. 

While there was disappointment in Hamburg that Thole and Wickler were unable to join Stavanger 2009 winners Julius Brink and Jonas Reckerman as world champions, second place showed the progress of a team who had won two World Tour silvers since pairing up at the start of 2018. 

“If you see where we came from last February when we were like 18th or 19th in the world, we had to go through country quota matches, through qualifications,” Wickler said. 

“Afterward we got into the main draw and now second at the World Champs and that is good progress.”

Norwegian pair Anders Mol and Christian Sorum completed the podium by beating the USA’s Tri Bourne and Trevor Crabb 2-1 (19-21, 21-15, 15-10). 

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