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14/05/2018 01:39
USA “wild cards” Mayer & Crabb bring home Lucerne gold as Serbia Kolaric and Basta claim historic silver medal
News from the FIVB

Lucerne, Switzerland, May 13, 2018. Wildcards John Mayer and Trevor Crabb of the United States triumphed with the title at the Lucerne three-star event on the 2018 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour on Sunday. This is not only the first World Tour gold for either of the two experienced players, but the first medal of any kind.

The silver medal went to Lazar Kolaric and Stefan Basta. The Serbian pair walked all the way from the first qualification round to the final to also claim their career first World Tour medal.

Adrian Heidrich and Mirco Gerson brought home joy to Switzerland by snatching the bronze. For them this result is a step up from the fourth place they took a week ago in Mersin and first ever World Tour podium finish as a team. Gerson now has three bronze medals on his tally, having won the previous two with former partner Philip Gabathuler.

In the big men’s final on Sunday afternoon, the balance was maintained through 6-6 in the first set. Mastering a long series of consecutive points, John Mayer and Trevor Crabb ran off with a lead that was impossible to wipe out and won the set by a wide margin. The Americans kept their cool in the second set, while Kolaric and Basta seemed content with the result they had already achieved. Mayer and Crabb kept the initiative through the end, which was marked by a fantastic block from Crabb, which fixed the final score at 2-0 (21-10, 21-16).

“When we got the wildcard for this tournament, I thought, let’s give it a shot and see what happens. I never thought we would be here. It’s pretty cool,” 35-year-old Mayer commented after the final.

“Our first tournament together was last week in Huntington and we kind of got adjusted to each other,” Crabb added. “We came out not as well in our first match here, but we won six in a row right after it to win the gold. I couldn’t be more proud of this guy, playing well the whole week...”

In the bronze medal match, Heidrich and Gerson pleased the home crowd with a 2-0 (21-19, 21-13) victory over Indonesia’s Ade Candra Rachmawan and Mohammad Ashfiya. The Swiss duo dominated throughout the match. The Indonesians attempted a late comeback in the first set, but to no avail. In the second, the home team opened up a comfortable lead and never looked back. Mirco Gerson’s powerful hit put the ball on the sand to close the match and set the home celebrations off.

“To be honest, we did not expect this,” Gerson said. “We came back from Mersin with the fourth place last week. We were very tired. To get the bronze medal in front of our own crowd now makes us really happy. It’s really amazing and we want to enjoy it now with friends and family.”

Earlier on Sunday, the two semi-finals were held. The day started with a 2-0 (21-14, 21-18) victory for Kolaric and Basta over Candra and Ashfiya. The Serbs cruised to a speedy win of the first set. In the second, the Indonesians put up more of a fight and kept it level for the most part, but in the conclusive moments Kolaric and Basta kept cooler than the opponents to close the game in their favour.

Mayer and Crabb managed a great comeback in their semi-final against Heidrich and Gerson. The Americans started with a 4-1 lead, but the Swiss quickly caught up and led the way in the first set. The second set was like a mirror image of the first, as Heidrich and Gerson made a better start and it was Mayer and Crabb’s turn to turn things around. The tiebreaker was a tough and very balanced battle, but in the end, the US pair celebrated with a 2-1 (18-21, 21-17, 15-13) victory.

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