Beach Volleyball

2023 EuroBeachVolleyM: Top Moments

Article Sun, Dec 31 2023
Author: Victoria Georgieva

As we already delved into the top moments of the women’s 2023 EuroBeachVolley, it is high time we looked at what the best men’s teams delivered at Europe’s top beach volleyball competition that took place in Vienna, Austria from August 2 to 6 in the Red Bull Beach Arena on the Danube island. 

To the delight of the fans, 32 elite teams per gender entered the competition, including Olympic champions, World and European champions and more.

What were the top moments on the men’s side of the competition?

Anders Mol and Christian Sørum of Norway

The Big Hopes 

Without any doubts, all eyes of the fans were on the reigning Olympic and world champions, Anders Mol and Christian Sørum who arrived to Vienna, coming from Montréal, Canada, where they had won a Beach Pro Tour Elite 16 event.

Mol and Sørum, the EuroBeachVolley titleholders from 2018 to 2021, got to Vienna with great ambitions, vying for a fifth title from the competition. The Austrian capital had always treated them well - before 2023 they had won every single tournament they had played in the city, and on the other hand, the Norwegians were looking for a revenge from David Åhman and Jonatan Hellvig. However, they finished on the fifth place in the 2023 edition of the competition.

The 2022 #EuroBeachVolley sensation - Sweden’s young aces David Åhman and Jonatan Hellvig were considered one of the favourite teams to win the trophy in 2023 as well. They wrote a new page in the history of Beach Volleyball, when, in 2022, they entered the competition in Munich as debutants, and were crowned champions. They also became the first team from their country to claim the trophy, disappointing Beach Volleyball stars Anders Mol and Christian Sørum in the semifinals and ending the Norwegians’ hope of taking gold for an unprecedented fifth-straight time.

However, not everything was sailing smoothly for  Åhman and Hellvig, as before the kick of Europe’s top beach volleyball event, the two hadn’t played internationally together for a period of two months, due to Hellvig’s injury on the hand. 

The Bello twins of England

The Surprises

Competing at the A1 CEV EuroBeachVolley for the first time in their careers, the English twins Javier and Joaquin Bello caused a sensation on the second day of the main draw of the men’s tournament in Vienna, securing one of the eight spots in the quarterfinals on Friday. In the Round of 24, the English overcome local heroes, Robin Seidl and Moritz Pristauz, in front of nearly 6,000 fans at the Red Bull Beach Arena. In the Round of 16, the Bello twins disappointed one of the contenders for gold, Olympic medallists and past world champions Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands.

The English continued with their good performance, finishing on fifth place, losing to Ukraine’s Sergiy Popov and Eduard Reznik in the Round 3, a step away from the semis. 

Arthur Canet and Téo Rotar of France

The New Faces 

The French duo Arthur Canet and Téo Rotar made a debut at the A1 CEV EuroBeachVolley at the age of only 18 and 19 respectively. Performing on the Danube island was an important milestone in the careers of the 2021 U19 World Champions. The two started competing internationally precisely in that year, winning a pair of medals in the Age Group tournaments in 2022, and aim high, including Paris 2024. 

At the 2023 #EuroBeachVolley, they finished ninth. 

Paolo Nicolai (2) of Italy

The Legend

Among many accomplished athletes at the competition, the name of the Rio 2016 Olympic medallist Paolo Nicolai, stood out as one of the legends to compete in Vienna. 

He is already among the most accomplished players in EuroBeachoVolley history, having won three golds (2014, 2016, 2017) and one bronze (2020) with long-time partner Daniele Lupo.

Winning the 2023 EuroBeachVolley title would have meant that Nicolai would have become the fifth player with four trophies from the competition, joining Germans Jonas Reckermann and Laura Ludwig and Norwegians Anders Mol and Christian Sørum.

However, this wasn’t the case for Nicolai, as he and his partner Cottafa lost in the semis to Åhman and Hellvig (1-2), and then lost to Popov/Reznik (0-2) in the bronze medal match. 

Åhman and Hellvig celebrating the 2023 #EuroBeachVolley trophy

The Champions 

Åhman and Hellvig defended their EuroBeachVolley title in Vienna, becoming back-to-back champions. 

It was the first time for the Swedes to play in the Austrian capital, but they managed to deliver their best performance - winning as many as six matches in four days, bringing back home a second EuroBeachVolley gold medal. 

Åhman and Hellvig met the Dutch temporary partners Leon Luini and Yorick de Groot in the Grand Finale, defeating them at 2-0 in a crowded Red Bull Beach Arena. 

The Swedish stars became the sixth men’s team in 31 years of EuroBeachVolley history to win back-to-back editions of the tournament, and the seventh duo to earn the gold medal in different seasons.

It was the second silver medal for de Groot who finished second in 2021 as well. 

In the bronze medal match, the Ukrainians Popov and Reznik made history for Ukraine securing the country’s first-ever medal on the EuroBeachVolley with victory over Italians Nicolai and Cottafava. 

Thanks to this success, Ukraine became the 16th different nation to reach the EuroBeachVolley podium.