Beach Volleyball

Tina and Anastasija secure Recife Challenge gold

Beach Pro Tour

Article Mon, Mar 25 2024
Author: Guilherme Torres

European beach volleyball teams returned home with three medals from the first Challenge event of the 2024 Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour season, which was concluded on Sunday in Recife, Brazil.

Latvians Anastasija and Tina celebrate their first Beach Pro Tour title of the season (Photo: CBV)

With one gold and two bronzes, Europe was the most successful continent in the event that took place at the Praia do Pina this weekend. Two weeks ago, Doha hosted the first Elite16 event of the year and European duos took home three medals as well – one gold, one silver and one bronze, all in the men's tournament.

Two-time European champions Tina Graudina and Anastasija Samoilova took Europe to the top of the podium in the women’s event. The Latvian Olympians went undefeated in their three days of action in Brazil, winning six matches to end the tournament in the first place, taking their second title on the Beach Pro Tour in five months – they triumphed in a Challenge tournament in Nuvali, the Philippines, last December.

Tina and Anastasija faced Canadians Sophie Bukovec and Heather Bansley in the final in Brazil and triumphed in straight sets (21-18, 21-17).

“It feels amazing, it’s so good to win in Brazil. It feels really good, I’ll never forget this tournament.”

Tina Graudina
Latvian Beach Volleyball Player

The bronze medal match in Recife featured two European duos and had Lithuanians Monika Paulikiene and Aine Raupelyte topping Germans Sandra Ittlinger and Karla Borger in the tie-breaker (21-14, 17-21, 15-9) to secure their spot at the podium.

In the men’s event, Europe claimed one medal, with the English Bello twins Joaquin and Javier making it to the podium for the second time in Challenge tournaments. The English lost in the semifinals but came back to top Americans Miles Evans and Chase Budinger in the three-set (26-24, 15-21, 15-13) bronze medal match.

European teams will remain in Brazil for another week as the country will host another Challenge tournament next week, with the city of Saquarema staging matches from Thursday to Sunday.