Lausanne, Switzerland, December 28, 2013 – As part of our end-of-year review series, www.fivb.org looks back at the FIVB Beach Volleyball U19 World Championships, a tournament that provides developing players a first taste of international competition and the chance to mix with athletes from around the world.
Review 2013 – Germany, Brazil take top honours at U19 Beach Volleyball World Championship
Porto hosted the Championships for the second time, marking Portugal’s return to the beach volleyball world stage. On this occasion, it was German and Brazilian teams who left with the gold medals.
In the boys’ tournament, German duo Moritz Reichert and Clemens Wickler beat fellow Europeans Bjarne Nikolai Huus and Christian Sandlie Sorum from Norway 2-0 (21-16, 21-17) in the gold-medal match and in doing so became the third German team to claim gold at the U19 World Championship level.
“We just started well from the beginning and made our points,” Reichert said. “Clemens did some great defence. We played like a team and that was the key to us winning here.”
The girls’ gold went to the Brazilian pair of 14-year-old Eduarda Santos Lisboa and her partner Taina Silva Bigi, who is three years’ her senior. For Santos Lisboa, it was her second age-group final of the year after she took silver at the FIVB Beach Volleyball U23 World Championships with Thais Rodrigues Ferreira a few weeks prior to the U19 Championship. Like their male counterparts, they didn’t wait around to win their gold and wrapped up a 2-0 (21-12, 21-16) victory over Russia’s Anna Gorbunova and Nadezda Makroguzova in 29 minutes.
Two USA teams claimed the bronze medals. Sara Hughes and Kelly Claes were rewarded with the girls’ bronze after knocking out U21 world champions Katarzyna Kociolek and Jagoda Gruszscynska, and top Swiss team Nina Betschart and Nicole Eiholzer earlier in the tournament. After losing the semifinal to the eventual gold medallists, they came back from behind against Germany’s Sarah Schneider and Lara Schreiber to win 2-1 (18-21, 21-19, 15-12).
Torey DeFalco and Lucas Yoder also needed to fight back from losing the opening set to win the boys’ bronze. They beat Lithuania’s Lukas Kazdailis and Arnas Rumsevicius 2-1 (22-24, 21-18, 15-8) to claim USA’s first FIVB Beach Volleyball U19 World Championship medal since 2008.
“I am pretty stoked,” DeFalco said. “It means a lot to me to win this medal since this is my first FIVB beach volleyball event.”
Like all the FIVB’s age-group tournaments, the U19 World Championships offered teams from developing countries the chance to compete at the highest level and this year’s edition featured teams from Zimbabwe, Niger, Costa Rica, Jamaica, St. Lucia and Nicaragua who all competed with distinction.