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2018 Review: Beach volleyball among Youth Olympic highlights

Russia's Maria Voronina (left) and Mariia Bocharova won women's YOG gold
Lausanne, Switzerland, January 5, 2019 – Beach volleyball once again showed its worldwide popularity when it was one of the most popular sports at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games. 

Russia’s Maria Voronina and Mariia Bocharova, and Sweden’s David Ahman and Jonatan Hellvig won women’s and men’s gold at a tournament that was played in front of full houses of 3,000 in Green Park in the Palermo district from October 7-17. 

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach and Athens 2004 Olympic Games gold medallist Emanuel Rego were among the crowd that watched the women’s medal matches, and presented the medals at the awarding ceremony. 

“The atmosphere in Green Park for the beach volleyball at these Youth Olympic Games is incredible,” President Bach said. “The music and dance moves add to the passion and enthusiasm of the crowd to create a vibrant party spirit for the young athletes and for the crowd.

“The girls' final really showed beach volleyball at is best. A packed stadium, great sport and a wonderful environment to match.”

Thirty-two teams per gender from 46 countries across all five confederations took part in the competition and it was the second time in three Youth Olympic Games that beach volleyball has been part of the programme. 

Voronina and Bocharova had already shown their prowess in age-group competitions when they won gold at the Nanjing 2018 FIVB Beach Volleyball U19 World Championships and the CEV U20 Beach Volleyball Championships. 

The Russians beat Italy’s Claudia Scampoli and Nicol Bertozzi 2-0 (21-19, 21-19), while Norway’s Frida Berntsen and Emilie Olimstad beat USA’s Devon Newberry and Lindsey Sparks 2-1 (18-21, 21-13, 15-9) to win bronze. 

Ahman and Hellvig also added another age-group title to their collections after they won gold at the CEV U18 European Championships. They won Youth Olympic gold with a 2-0 (22-20, 21-15) victory over the Netherlands’ Matthew Immers and Yorick de Groot.

Argentina’s Mauro Zelayeta and Bautista Amieva ensured that the host nation was represented on the podium after they defeated Hungary’s Bence Attila Streli and Artur Hajos 2-0 (21-15, 21-15) to win men’s bronze. 


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