Russians and Venezuela seeking Nanjing 2014 Olympic Games Beach Volleyball gold
Nanjing, China, August 27, 2014 - With the top two teams from the recently-completed FIVB Under-19 World Championships eliminated, Tigrito Gomez and Peter Hernandez will attempt to salvage the “pride” from the Portugal podium placers here Wednesday evening when the Venezuelans play a Russian pair for the men’s beach volleyball gold medal at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games.
Gomez and Hernandez, the bronze medal winners at the FIVB U19 event in Porto earlier this month, and Russians Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Artem Yarzutkin captured semifinal matches Wednesday afternoon as the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Beach Volleyball competition concludes with evening medal matches.
In Wednesday’s second of two semifinals matches, Gomez and Hernandez advanced to the gold medal finale at the 2,000-seat beach volleyball venue in the Nanjing Sports Park Complex by defeating South American rivals Santiago Aulisi and Leandro Aveiro of Argentina 2-0 (21-18 and 21-19) in 38 minutes.
“They were a very tough team,” said Hernandez after the match with Argentina. “We had to concentrate hard to beat them. My partner played very well. He is very fast. He has very good vision. A gold medal would mean a lot for us. We will fight to get it.”
Gomez “thanked god, my teammate, my coach and my trainer. It was a great match. My teammate played at a high level. We want to win a medal for Venezuela and all of the people that believed in us.”
A dejected Aveiro called the match “bad. We can do so many things better. I did not like that match. We did not show what we could do. We can play better. “We need to clear our heads. If we don’t, we will not win the next match.”
Fifth-place finishers at both the FIVB U19 and U21 world championships this summer along with placing 17th at June’s FIVB World Tour stop in Moscow, Stoyanovskiy and Yarzutkin scored a 2-0 (21-11 and 21-10) win in 28 minutes over Miro Maattanen and Santeri Siren of Finland in Wednesday first semifinal match. The match was played in a light rain to start with a heavier downpour in the second set.
“That is normal weather for Beach Volleyball,” said Stoyanovskiy, the second tallest player in the competition at 205 cm (6’9”). “We have played in the rain a lot, so we were not hampered. We will now go back to the Olympic Village and rest and get ready for the gold medal match. Winning the gold medal will be very important for us.”
A dejected Siren said the match was “terrible. We were so bad. We have got to play better, especially against a team like Russia. They are really good, but they are not unstoppable. Now we will go eat and focus on the bronze medal match.”
On Monday, the Russians eliminated reigning FIVB U19 world champions Arthur Mariano and George Wanderley of Brazil in three sets to advance to Wednesday’s “final four” matches. The Brazilians had advanced to the men’s quarter-final against Stoyanovskiy and Yarzutkin by ousting Ukraine’s Illia Kovaliov and Oleh Plotnytskiy from the competition. Arthur and George also defeated the Ukrainians for the FIVB U19 world title in Portugal.