Lausanne, Switzerland, June 17, 2019 – After eleven straight weeks of competition for the senior players on the international beach volleyball circuit, the world’s elite performers will have a 12-day break while the juniors start playing on Tuesday in the FIVB Beach Volleyball Under-21 World Championships at Udon Thani, Thailand.
While senior teams from Australia and Brazil won the event this past weekend in Poland prior to the start of the 2019 FIVB World Championships on June 28 in Germany, Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic champions Mariia Bocharova/Maria Voronina of Russia and David Ahman/Jonatan Hellvig of Sweden will be the featured teams this week at the U21 World Championships in Thailand.
Bocharova and Voronina also captured the FIVB Under-19 World Championships after winning the 2018 crown 11 months ago in China by defeating Raisa Schoon/Emi van Driel of the Netherlands 2-1 (19-21, 21-19, 15-13) in the 51-minute July 15 finale in Nanjing.
Schoon and van Driel, who placed ninth in the 2018 Youth Olympics after dropping a 2-1 (15-21, 21-12, 15-10) to Bocharova and Voronina in a 37-minute second-round elimination match in Buenos Aires, captured an FIVB World Tour gold medal at April’s event in Göteborg, Sweden.
While the 2018 under-19 world champions Denis Shekunov/Dmitrii Veretiuk are awaiting entry into this year’s under-21 event as the Russians are currently listed on the reserve list, Ahman and Hellvig did not compete in Nanjing last July.
The young Swedes defeated 2018 Under-19 World Championship silver medal winners Filip John/Lukas Pfretzschner of Germany in the Buenos Aires quarterfinals before capturing the gold medal on October 17 with a two-set win over Matthew Immers/Yorick de Groot of the Netherlands.
In last weekend’s World Tour action – in the final tune-up for the teams scheduled to compete in the 2019 FIVB World Championships in Germany – Australia’s Mariafe Artacho/Taliqua Clancy and Brazil’s Evandro Goncalves/Bruno Oscar Schmidt topped the podium in Poland by defeating pairs from the United States and Norway, respectively, in Warsaw.
Artacho and Clancy won their fifth FIVB World Tour gold medal together by defeating Kelley Larsen/Emily Stockman of the United States in the Warsaw finals. It was the third Aussie/American gold medal meeting this season with the down-under girls winning twice.
Evandro, who captured the 2017 FIVB World Championships in Vienna with Andre Loyola, and Bruno, who was a World Championship gold medallist in 2015 with Alison Cerutti, captured their first FIVB World Tour gold medal together by upsetting Anders Mol/Christian Sorum of Norway in the finals on Sunday.
The win by Evandro and Bruno in Warsaw also snapped Mol and Sorum’s 23-match World Tour winning streak as the Norwegians had won three-straight gold medals at events in Brazil, China and the Czech Republic. At the end of May in China, Mol and Sorum also defeated Evandro and Bruno in a May 26 gold medal match in Jinjiang.
While the top players were competing in Poland, the Greek Isle of Ios hosted in first-ever FIVB World Tour events where France’s Florian Gosselin/Jeremy Silvestre and host country favouites Dimitra Manavi/Konstantina Tsopoulou topped the men’s and women’s podiums, respectively, with victories over pairs from Russia and Romania.
Gosselin and Silvestre won their first World Tour title together by defeating Maxim Sivolap/Artem Yarzutkin of Russia in the Ios Open men’s gold medal match while Manavi and Tsopoulou topped their first FIVB podium by defeating Ioana-Alexandra Ordean/Beata Vaida of Romania.
Following the opening pool play rounds in Hamburg for the 48 teams per gender that conclude on July 2 for women and July 3 for men, the 32-team elimination rounds at the 2019 FIVB World Championships take place that leads to the women’s finale on July 6 and the men’s gold medal match on July 7.
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