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13/09/2020 21:00
Italy and Estonia victorious at Vilnius 1-Star event
2020 World Tour 1-Star - Vilnius

Vilnius, Lithuania, September 13, 2020. The very first FIVB World Tour tournament ever held in Lithuania finished on Sunday in Vilnius, with teams from Italy and Estonia securing the women’s and men’s gold medals, respectively. Artur Vasiljev and Robert Juchnevic provided the home fans with something to cheer about as they finished the men’s tournament in second place – their very best international result this far.

The home heroes easily dispatched Italy’s Tobia Marchetto and Alberto Di Silvestre 2-0 (21-10, 21-13) in the semis delivering a really commanding performance. However, in the gold medal match, they lost a truly dramatic battle 1-2 (21-12, 20-22, 12-15), to second-seeded Kusti Nõlvak and Mart Tiisaar of Estonia. The home team started the match with much energy, leaving no chance to their opponents. However, the Estonians responded well to take the second set and after a close race up to 10-all in the tiebreak, the visitors broke away to secure Estonia’s second World Tour gold after Rivo Vesik and Kristjan Kais had achieved this feat in Zagreb back in 2007. Kusti and Mart will go straight from Vilnius to Jurmala to join EuroBeachVolley 2020, where the Estonians feature in a ‘group of death’ together with reigning European champions Anders Mol/Christian Sørum of Norway, home stars Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins of Latvia and Austria’s Alexander Huber and Christoph Dressler.


Kusti Nõlvak and Mart Tiisaar are only the second Estonian team in history to win a World Tour event

Kusti and Mart thanked the crowd for all of their cheering and support, even though they were playing in Vilnius against a local team, and emphasised they will be cherishing their memories from the experience in the Lithuanian capital.

“Despite the loss, we appreciate the result,” Vasiljev said. “We came a bit short of the gold medal in the final but it is still our biggest achievement in a tournament of this level. It means a lot to us that such tournaments take place in Vilnius. I wish there were as many of them as possible. We feel really great here. We are glad that despite the difficult situation, this tournament took place.”