Beach Volleyball

France earn the Beach Volley Nations Cup trophy and Olympic spot in the Golden Set

Article Sun, Jun 16 2024
Author: Martyna Szydlowska

France was crowned the CEV 2024 Beach Volley Nations Cup winner in Jurmala and secured their second spot in the men's tournament at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. Although Austria won the first part of the final France came back winning the second game and the Golden Set. Teo Rotar, Arnaud Gauthier-Rat, Julien Lyneel, RĂ©mi Bassereau could then raise the trophy and celebrate the second qualification for the Olympic tournament for their country.

Hammarberg/Pristauz - Bassereau/Lyneel 2-1 (28-30, 21-17, 15-11)

Austria and France from the beginning of the final match-up showed the full determination to fight for every point. The first game featured Hammarberg/Pristauz and Bassereau/Lyneel. After a tight opening the French team found a way to jump to a three-point lead at 12-9 as a combination of great serves and spikes from Lyneel and Bassereau's block. But it wasn't a safe distance and Austria quickly tied at 15-15, showing that they also have a big range of play. Thus, they delivered a fascinating head-to-head race that went far in extra time. Both sides delivered spectacular plays with huge ovations from the stands. However, the last two points at 30-28 (!) belonged to France, who closed the set after Bassereau's block (4 block stuffs in the opener). Austria were eager to take a revenge in the next set, taking an early 6-3 lead with Timo Hammarbeg on the serve. France tried to reduce the gap, but they made too many mistakes. Pristauz's spike ended this part 21-17. Austria kept the momentum, running away with the score after Hammarbrg's block to 8-5. In the decisive moment, Bassereau/Lyneel shortened the distance to two points (12-10), but they met with immediate response from Austria, who jumped to 14-10 and sealed a win at 15-11 after a too long spike from Lyneel. Timo Hammarberg contributed with 30 points (25 spikes, 4 blocks, 1 ace) and Moritz Pristauz with 16 - all winning attacks.

Dressler/Waller - Rotar/Gauthier-Rat 1-2 (19-21, 21-19, 12-15)

Teo Rotar and Arnaud Gauthier-Rat had no room for mistake if they wanted to stay in the game for the trophy and second Olympic ticket for their country. They took a 5-2 lead, but with Christoph Dressler on the serve, Austria reduced the gap to 7-6 and since then both sides delivered impressive plays keeping the race tight. After a series of successful spikes, Austria took a 13-10 lead, but France step by step made it (16-16) to prevail 21-19. Austria from the beginning of the next part took an initiative on the court, keeping 2-3 points of distance (8-5, 15-12), aiming to extend the game into a tie-break what they did with Waller's attack at 21-19. The beginning of the tie-break was the Rotar's show - his monster blocks and powerful spikes gave France 5-1 lead. Austria fought back (9-7), but with Arnaud Gauthier-Rat's spike France closed the game 15-12. However it meant that the Golden Set would determine the Beach Volley Nations Cup winner. In this clash Arnaud Gauther-Rat scored 23 points (21 winning spikes - 48% success, 2 aces), once Teo Rotar had 22 points to his name (18 spikes - 53% and 4 blocks).

Golden Set: Waller/Hammarberg - Rotar/Gauthier-Rat 0-1 (10-15)

France kept their winning team on the court, so Rotar/Gauthier-Rat, once Austria decided to create new line-up for the Golden Set - nominating Waller/Hammarberg to play this deciding set. France quickly jumped to 5-1 lead and kept the score safe, Austria pushed hard, but Rotar's attack ended their hopes, closing the Golden Set 15-10.

We knew that we had to win our match and the golden set if we wanted to qualify for Paris. We did it, so we are very very happy. It's very emotional. It was a mental game, but with support from the crowd and us together we found very good plays.

Teo Rotar

10 years ago I started the journey to get to the Olympics. I started to play beach volleyball, because I wanted to achieve it. It's the finalisation of a 10-year journey, today it became true, so it means a lot to me.

Arnaud Gauthier-Rat