22/07/2018 23:16
BeachVolley Vikings are the ‘Kings of the Beach’
2018 CEV DELA Beach Volleyball European Championship

The Hague, The Netherlands, July 22, 2018. Anders Berntsen Mol and Christian Sandlie Sørum are Europe’s ‘Kings of the Beach’ – and they achieved this historic feat in truly emphatic style. The BeachVolley Vikings delivered a show of strength for a sell-out crowd at Sportcampus Zuiderpark in The Hague to become Norway’s first European champions since Vegard Høidalen and Jørre André Kjemperud had secured the continental crown back in 1997 in Riccione. What is remarkable is their age – Mol is only 21, Sørum 22 – as well as the confidence they displayed in shutting out Latvia’s Janis Smedins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs 21-17, 21-13. Spain’s Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira completed the podium after a hard-fought victory in the bronze medal match with Russia’s Konstantin Semenov and Ilya Leshukov.

It has been an amazing two weeks for the Vikings and for Norway – last Saturday Anders and Christian had seized the gold medals from the Major Series World Tour event in Gstaad, the first such accomplishment for a Norwegian team since 1998. As for their #EuroBeachVolley campaign, they simply marched from triumph to triumph but the performance shown in the gold medal match was one-of-a-kind.

Mol’s blocking game was absolutely outstanding and pivotal towards a landslide victory that few would have expected. Christian and Anders did never lose control or show any sign of nervousness. They performed like a machine and did not seem to suffer from any intimidation resulting from the ‘iconic’ players standing on the opposite side of the net. Mol’s blocks reminded fans of other unique, standout players such as Phil Dalhausser – but Sørum complemented him in the best way. It is somehow spine tingling to think about how young these two players are and to recall that only two years ago Anders became U20 European champion together with Christian’s younger brother, Aleksander.

Newly crowned European champions Christian Sandlie Sørum and Anders Berntsen Mol of Norway

Mol, whose grandparents are Dutch, enthusiastically addressed the fans in The Hague to cap a memorable week for European Beach Volleyball. “It is never easy to play a Volleyball game, and we did not expect it to be this way, because we played super well in both sets. We put a lot of pressure on them,” Anders said.

“Maybe the score is saying that it was easy, but it is never easy. You never know when the momentum will change. The sun was extremely tough for the eyes,” Sørum added.

“We always want to win. We always stay focussed until the last point. That is one of our strengths. We kept focussed until the end, pushing, we did our job,” Mol continued. “For me this is unreal right now. We will have a couple of days back home, relax and think about what we have done here this week and in Gstaad too. I think we need time to process it, because we cannot really understand it right now. Despite this success, we want to improve. We still have not reached our full potential. I think we can still play better and that is what we are aiming for.”

“I felt like we were in a bubble, we were really focused. If it is match ball or the first point, it does not matter. We just play and do our stuff,” Christian reckoned. “We will work hard every year to get more such titles.”

Aleksandrs Samoilovs trying to spike past the block of Anders Berntsen Mol - but this time the 'Lion King' had to be content with silver

As for Samoilovs and Smedins, they lost their fourth #EuroBeachVolley final in six years and the disappointment was obvious. “I am happy that we made it to the final once more but obviously not pleased with the result. They played great Volleyball whilst something was missing on our side, so their victory is a well-deserved one,” Janis Smedins said. Samoilovs and Smedins won gold in 2015 – and have a collection of four silver medals from the 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018 editions of the continental showpiece event. Smedins has a bronze medal to his name as well from the 2010 tournament he contested along with Martins Plavins.

Herrera/Gavira fight hard to secure bronze for Spain

Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira claimed on Sunday their third #EuroBeachVolley medal as a team – a bronze – to go with the continental crown they seized back in 2013 in Klagenfurt and another third place they celebrated a way back in 2009 in Sochi, Russia.

Herrera and Gavira set the pace from start to end of the opening set as the no. 19 seeds from Russia sided out quite well but never managed to edge past – this resulting in a 21-17 win for the experienced Spaniards. The course of the game changed dramatically in the second set, despite an injury suffered by Semenov as he landed badly from a blocking attempt. Semenov and Leshukov played with impressive consistency and the very same quality they had shown earlier in the tournament – thus producing a landslide 21-13 win. The Spaniards regrouped for the tiebreaker and despite wasting a 9-7 lead, the final stages of the match fully belonged to Herrera and Gavira, who eventually added another European medal (15-12) to an already impressive resume.

That was a fight - four players looking completely exhausted after the bronze medal match

Herrera is a double European champion, since next to the title he won in 2013 with Gavira he was the gold medal winner in 2005 as well, back then together with former partner Raul Mesa. This makes him the most successful Spanish Beach Volleyball player in history – since he has an Olympic silver medal from Athens 2004 to his name as well among a list of impressive accolades.

“It was a great battle of heart,” Gavira said. “Pablo was low on batteries and I tried to give him some of my energy. In the end, it is extremely nice for us to win and be able to bring this bronze medal to Spain. I think that all the pain we have went through is in this medal and we are very happy.”

“I think Adrian made the difference and saved the tie-break,” Herrera added. “He made the defence and served well, blocked, pushed all the time in the third and that was it.”

Click here for further information.

News nr. 1 of 43
22/07/2018 16:54:00
Latvia vs. Norway the final showdown at #EuroBeachVolley

Advanced Search
Open the calendar popup.
Open the calendar popup.

There are no matches appointed for today

CEV Beach Volley Social Media