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31/08/2013 19:00
Happy end for Swedish and Norwegian pairs at NEVZA Championship in Oslo
News from the Zonal Associations

Oslo, Norway, August 31, 2013. On Saturday Sweden’s Nina Grawender/Karin Lundqvist and Norway’s Morten Kvamsdal/Øivind Hordvik crowned with gold their campaign at the NEVZA Beach Volleyball Championship held at Voldsløkka, Oslo.
Though the men’s semifinals scheduled for Saturday morning were played under heavy rain, the weather got much better for the last act of the tournament, the men’s final, with hundreds of fans who got together to follow the actions of the home teams. Right after the gold medal match came to a close, the players of Oslo’s Sandvolleyballklubb started their annual “end of the season party” there at Voldsløkka.

The men’s semis were an all-Norwegian affair and there Kvamsdal/Hordvik upset – for the second time in a couple of weeks after doing so also at the national championship – first-seeded Iver Andreas Horrem and Geir Eithun. Kvamsdal/Hordvik started out strong cashing the first set 21-18 but Horrem/Eithun found back their best play to call for the tie-break as they rushed to a speedy 21-10 in the second. Horrem/Eithun – who four weeks ago had made it to the 1/4 finals at the CEV European Championship Final in Klagenfurt – set the pace for most of the time in the third set but Kvamsdal/Hordvik stepped up in the final phase to bring it home at 15-13.  
In the second semifinal Andreas Takvam/Runar Sannarnes easily powered past their countrymen Hendrik Nikolai Mol and Lars Retterholt 21-14, 21-11 to qualify for the last stage of the competition.  

Once the men’s semis were completed, another two Norwegian pairs played for bronze in the women’s tournament with Janne Kongshavn/Victoria Faye Kjølberg beating their compatriots Vilde Solvoll and Ingrid Lunde 21-19, 21-14 to settle for third place.     

Iver Andreas Horrem/Geir Eithun returned to the sand more motivated than before as they vied for bronze in another derby where they eventually got past Mol/Retterholt. Horrem/Eithun easily cashed the first set 21-15 but Mol – a silver medalist from this year’s U22 European Championship in Varna – and Retterholt responded by winning the second 21-19. This time, however, Horrem and Eithun did not let their opponents any chance in the tie-break which they won 15-8.    

The women’s final was a Swedish derby where Nina Grawender and Karin Lundqvist beat Camilla Nilsson and Tadva Yoken 21-18, 21-13. Grawender/Lundqvist lived up to their status as first-seeded pair of the tournament and even though the match was played as heavy rain was pouring down in Oslo, in the end both teams were happy with what they had achieved in the tournament.  

The sun returned shortly before the start of the men’s final and the stands were filled up with fans and players of the local Beach Volleyball club. After a very close match, Kvamsdal/Hordvik were able to edge Takvam/Sannarnes 21-18, 21-19 to win gold as Norway swept all medals in the men’s tournament. “We are very happy with this victory, it has been a few good weeks for us as we beat Horrem and Eithun, Norway’s best team, at the national championship as well as here” Hordvik said. “We will now have a break for a few weeks before the World Tour starts again with stops in China and Brazil. With this result we got FIVB Ranking Points and this is a good boost as we try to pursue our goal to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio” said Hordvik whose wife Janne Kongshavn won bronze in Oslo to complete a perfect week for their family.    

The promoter, former international star and European champion Vegard Høidalen, and the Norwegian Volleyball Federation were happy with the outcome of the Zonal Championship that they organized for the first time. The tournament is a great opportunity for all teams from the NEVZA countries to earn FIVB Ranking Points and move up in the international ranking to possibly play in the Main Draw of the coming World Tour events.  

Click here for a comprehensive picture gallery of the Championship

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