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14/07/2018 23:18
Gstaad Major gold for Norwegians Mol & Sørum on eve of #EuroBeachVolley
News from the FIVB

Gstaad, Switzerland, July 14, 2018. Only some 24 hours before the start of the European Beach Volleyball Championship in the Netherlands, Anders Berntsen Mol and Christian Sandlie Sørum became the third youngest men’s team to win a FIVB event. They did so Saturday as the Norwegians became the first pair from the Scandinavian country in over 20 years to win a World Tour gold medal by defeating Spaniards Adrian Gavira and Pablo Herrera in the finals of the US$600,000 Gstaad Major.

Seeded 15th in the second of four Beach Major Series events on the 2017-2018 FIVB calendar, the 21-year old Mol and 22-year old Sørum posted a 2-0 (21-18, 21-12) gold medal win in 34 minutes over the sixth-seeded Gavira and Herrera, who were playing in their 100th World Tour event together as compared to the Norwegians 14th only.

With a combined age of 43 years, seven months, 20 days, Mol and Sørum rank only behind Brazil’s Andre Lima/Guilherme Marques (combined age of 42 years, one day by winning in 1990 at Sete, France) and Russia’s Maxim Sivolap/Igor Velichko (43 years, six months, 11 days in 2017 at Qinzhou, China) as the youngest team to win a FIVB World Tour gold medal.

With their sixth win of the week in the Swiss Alps Village, Mol and Sørum split the $40,000 first-place prize. Saturday’s match was Mol and Sørum’s second gold medal match this season with a setback in the Itapema Open finals in mid-May to home-standing Brazilians and 2017 world champions Evandro Goncalves and Andre Loyola.

Gavira and Herrera, who split $32,000 for their silver medal finish, are now 3-6 in FIVB World Tour gold medal matches, including a championship title last month in Ostrava, Czech Republic.  The Spaniards also topped World Tour podiums in Moscow (2015) and Xiamen, China (2016).

The gold medal from the Gstaad Major bodes well for Mol and Sorum's campaign at the upcoming #EuroBeachVolley

The last gold medal victory by Norway on the World Tour was in 1998 when Vegard Høidalen/Jørre Kjemperud defeated Brazilians Guilherme/Para Ferreira in Berlin on July 5, 1998 in the 77th FIVB-sanctioned men’s event. The Gstaad Major is the 400th men’s event in the history of the 32-season tour that started in February 1987 in Rio de Janeiro.

Since the 1998 Berlin finale, Norway has appeared in only two men’s gold medal matches with the first Viking team to reach a FIVB men’s gold medal match being Tarjei Skarlund/Martin Spinnangr as the pair lost in two sets to Germany’s David Klemperer/Eric Koreng on July 4, 2010 in Stavanger, Norway.

In the bronze medal match, 12th-seeded and reigning European champions Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai of Italy out-lasted 21st-seeded Taylor Crabb and Jake Gibb of the United States 2-1 (17-21, 21-16, 20-18) in 56 minutes. It was the second meeting this week in the Gstaad Major between the two teams with the Americans defeating Lupo and Nicolai in a three-set pool play match Wednesday.

Lupo and Nicolai, who lead the series with Crabb and Gibb 3-1 with each match being a three-setter, shared $20,000 for the bronze medal win while the Americans split $16,000 for fourth place.  All five of Crabb and Gibb’s Gstaad matches were three setters.

To reach the Gstaad Major finale, Mol and Sørum scored a 2-1 (17-21, 23-21, 16-14) win in 52 minutes over 21st-seeded Crabb and Gibb.  In the 15th FIVB meeting with the Italians, Gavira and Herrera posted a 2-0 (30-28, 21-18) win in 47 minutes over Lupo and Nicolai to gain an 8-7 edge in the series.

The 19th annual Gstaad Major concludes Sunday with the women’s “final four” matches.  The Canadian pairs of top-seeded Melissa Humana-Paredes/Sarah Pavan and second-seeded Heather Bansley/Brandie Wilkerson will play teams from Brazil and Germany.

Third-seeded Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda ‘Duda’ Lisboa from Brazil meet Humana-Paredes/Pavan in one of the semi-finals with seventh-seeded and defending Gstaad Major champions Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude Germany meeting Bansley/Wilkerson in a “final four” match.

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