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New European women’s champions set to be crowned

Joana Heidrich celebrates reaching the European Championships final
Jurmala, Latvia, September 19, 2020 – There will be a new European women’s champion team when Joana Heidrich and Anouk Verge-Depre take on Cinja Tillmann and Kim Behrens in the CEV European Championships gold medal match at Jurmala Beach on Sunday having won their semifinals on Saturday. 

Swiss pair Heidrich and Verge-Depre beat Russia’s Nadezda Makroguzova and Svetlana Kholomina 2-0 (21-19, 21-17) in their semifinal, while German duo Tillmann and Behrens defeated the Czech Republic’s Marketa Slukova and Barbara Hermannova 2-0 (21-11, 21-17). 

Neither team has finished on the podium at a European Championships. 

Heidrich and Verge-Depre narrowly missed out on the medals at the 2019 edition where they finished fourth, the same year that Tillmann and Behrens played in their first continental championships and reached the second knockout round. 

A win for Heidrich and Verge-Depre would follow silver at their most recent FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour tournament, the Baden 1-Star in August. 

Gold or silver would represent Tillmann and Behrens’ best finish since they teamed up on the World Tour at the start of 2019. 

World leaders on course to face world champs
In the men’s competition defending champions and FIVB World Rankings leaders Anders Mol and Christian Sorum are in line to face reigning FIVB Beach Volleyball world champions Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Viacheslav Krasilnikov in the gold medal match after both teams reached the semifinals on Saturday. 

Mol and Sorum will face Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai, silver medallists from the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games and three times European champions, including in 2017 when Jurmala last hosted the tournament. 

Norwegians Mol and Sorum beat Spain’s Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira 2-0 (21-16, 21-16) in their quarterfinals, while the Italians Lupo and Nicolai overcame Poland’s Piotr Kantor and Bartosz Losiak 2-1 (21-19, 19-21, 18-16). 

Stoyanovskiy and Krasilnikov face their fellow Russians Nikita Liamin and Taras Myskiv in their semifinal. 

They defeated Anders Mol’s brother Hendrik Mol and Mathias Bernsten of Norway 2-0 (21-14, 21-19), while Liamin and Myskiv beat Switzerland’s Marco Krattiger and Florian Breer 2-0 (21-15, 21-18),

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