Latvia and China claim gold in Durban
Durban, South Africa, December 14, 2013 – Latvia’s Janis Smedins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs and China’s Chen Xue and Xinyi Xia claimed the gold medals at the FIVB Beach Volleyball Durban Open on Saturday.
The Latvians actually struck gold twice, also winning the 2013 FIVB World Tour title. In the all-Latvian final of the Durban Open they defeated compatriots Martins Plavins and Aleksandrs Solovejs 2-1 (15-21 21-17 15-10). Brazil’s Pedro Solberg and Bruno Oscar Schmidt won the bronze medal.
Xue and Xia won back to back gold after winning the Phuket Open early November, in only their third event as a team. The Chinese beat Germany’s Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude 2-0 (21-18 21-18) in the final. USA’s Jennifer Kessy and Whitney Pavlik took the bronze.
Double gold for Latvia’s Smedins and Samoilovs in Durban
Janis Smedins and Aleksandrs
Samoilovs struck gold twice in Durban on Saturday. After securing the 2013 FIVB
World Tour ranking title in the morning, the Latvians also won the FIVB Beach
Volleyball Durban Open. “To get two titles in the same tournament, that is
pretty amazing. It feels very good”, said Smedins.
Back to back gold for China’s Xue and Xia
After winning the Phuket Open
in November new pair Chen Xue and Xinyi Xia claimed their second gold medal in
a row on Saturday at Durban’s New Beach. The Chinese defeated Germany’s Chantal
Laboureur and Julia Sude 2-0 (21-18 21-18) in the final of the FIVB Beach
Volleyball Durban Open.
All-Latvian men’s final in Durban
The men’s final at the FIVB
Beach Volleyball Durban Open will be an all-Latvian one, the first in FIVB
history. The newly crowned 2013 World Tour winners Janis Smedins and Aleksandrs
Samoilovs will play Martins Plavins and Aleksandrs Solovejs for the gold in
China’s Xue/Xia eye another gold at the Durban Open
China’s Chen Xue and Xinyi
Xia are on track for their second gold in a row. The Phuket Open champions
defeated Teresa Mersmann and Isabel Schneider in two sets (21-18 21-15) in the
semifinals at the FIVB Beach Volleyball Durban Open on Saturday.
Latvia’s Smedins and Samoilovs take 2013 FIVB World Tour title
Latvia’s Janis Smedins and
Aleksandrs Samoilovs took the 2013 FIVB World Tour title by reaching the
quarterfinals at the FIVB Beach Volleyball Durban Open early Saturday morning.
Out of respect for former South African president Nelson Mandela, who will be buried on Sunday, the Durban Open semifinals and finals were moved forward to Saturday.
The Durban Open was the last event on the 2013 FIVB calendar. Next year Durban will host another double gender Open from December 10-14.
The 2014 season starts in April with the Fuzhou Open in China (22-27), followed by the Shanghai Grand Slam, which takes place from April 29 – May 4. The 2014 calendar features 10 Grand Slams, an inaugural FIVB Grand Slam Final and 11 Open tournaments.
For the first time in FIVB history, two of the Grand Slams (which ones are still to be confirmed) will have a prize pot of $1m, while the other eight will feature a total purse of $800,000 – nearly double the prize money of $440,000 on offer for Grand Slams in 2013.