Lausanne, Switzerland, July 16, 2018 - With the top players on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour from Europe competing in their continental championships in the Netherlands, the international circuit will focus this week's action on two events in Asia with China and Korea hosting tournaments.
FIVB World Tour actions begin on Tuesday in Haiyang, China for both men and women while Korea hosts a women's-only event for the second-straight week in Ulsan starting on Thursday. Both events conclude on Sunday with the inaugural Haiyang Open featuring $150,000 in prize money and the second annual Ulsan Jinha Open $10,000.
In action last week, 21-year-old Anders Mol and 22-year-old Christian Sorum became the third youngest men’s team to win an FIVB World Tour event as the 15th-seeded Norwegians posted a 2-0 (21-18, 21-12) gold medal win at the $600,000 Gstaad Major in 34 minutes over the sixth-seeded Adrian Gavira and Pablo Herrera.
With a combined age of 43 years, seven months, 20 days, Mol and Sorum were competing in only their 14th FIVB World Tour event while Spanish Olympians Gavira and Herrera were playing in their 100th World Tour event together.
With their gold medal, Mol and Sorum rank behind Brazil’s Andre Lima/Guilherme Marques (combined age of 42 years, one day, winning in 1990 at Sete, France) and Russia’s Maxim Sivolp/Igor Velichko (43 years, six months, 11 days, winning in 2017 at Qinzhou, China) as the youngest teams to win an FIVB World Tour gold medal.
The last gold medal victory by Norway on the World Tour was in 1998 when Vegard Hoidalen/Jorre Kjemperud defeated Brazilians Guilherme Marques/Rogerio ‘Para’ Ferreira in Berlin on July 5, 1998 in the 77th FIVB-sanctioned men’s event. The Gstaad Major was the 400th men’s event in the history of the 32-season tour that started in February 1987 in Rio de Janeiro.
Since the 1998 Berlin finale, Norway has appeared in only two men’s gold medal matches with the other Viking team to reach an FIVB men’s gold medal match being Tarjei Skarlund/Martin Spinnangr as the pair was defeated in two sets by Germany’s David Klemperer/Eric Koreng on July 4, 2010 in Stavanger, Norway.
Ringing the bells of success in Gstaad are (left to right) Pablo Herrera, Adrian Gavira, Anders Mol, Christian Sorum, Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo
In the women’s finale, defending Gstaad Major champions Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude had match point and a 15-14 lead in the third and deciding set, but Humana-Paredes and Pavan scored the last three points of the match to dethrone the Germans as the Beach Major Series champions in the Swiss Alps Village.
The Canadians used successful attacks by each player to regain the lead at 16-15 with Sude being called for a net touch for the final point to secure a 2-1 (21-17, 12-21, 17-15) gold medal win in 52 minutes. It was Humana-Paredes and Pavan’s third FIVB World Tour title together. The pair placed third at the 2017 Gstaad Major.
The 2018 Gstaad Major marked the first time that two Canadian women’s team placed on an FIVB podium at the same event as second-seeded Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson won the bronze medal match by defeating third-seeded Agatha Bednarczuk/Eduarda "Duda" Lisboa of Brazil 2-0 (21-19, 21-13) in 37 minutes.
Canadian podium placers (left to right) are Humana-Paredes, Pavan, Wilkerson and Bansley
In the men’s bronze medal match, 12th-seeded and Rio 2016 Olympic silver medal winners Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai of Italy out-lasted 21st-seeded Taylor Crabb and 42-year old Jake Gibb of the United States 2-1 (17-21, 21-16, 20-18) in 56 minutes.
In Korea on Sunday, Australia’s Phoebe Bell and Jessyka Ngauamo each won her first FIVB World Tour gold by defeating Anja Dorfler/Stephanie Wiesmeyr of Austria 2-0 (21-14 and 21-15) in 28 minutes.
Switzerland - Gstaad, July 9-14, 2018, $300,000, FIVB men's event No. 400
1. Anders Mol/Christian Sorum, Norway, $40,000
2. Adrian Gavira/Pablo Herrera, Spain, $32,000
3. Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai, Italy, $20,000
4. Taylor Crabb/Jake Gibb, United States, $16,000
Gold - Mole/Sorum def. Gavira/Herrera, 2-0 (21-18, 21-12) (34)
Bronze - Lupo/Nicolai def. Crabb/Gibb, 2-1 (17-21, 21-16, 20-18) (56
Korea - Daegu, July 13-15, 2018, $10,000, FIVB women's event No. 364
1. Phoebe Bell/Jessyka Ngauamo, Australia, $2,000
2. Anja Dorfler/Stephanie Wiesmeyr, Austria, $1,400
3. Nai-Han Kou/Pi Hsin Liu, Chinese Taipei, $1,000
4. Noy Chorin/Anita Deev, Israel, $800
Gold - Bell/Ngauamo def. Dorfler/Wiesmeyr, 2-0 (21-14, 21-15) (28 minutes)
Bronze - Kou/Liu def. Chorin/Deev, 2-0 (21-8, 21-14) (28)
Daegu Open podium with Australians, Austrians and Chinese Taipei players
Switzerland - Gstaad, July 9-15, 2018, $300,000, FIVB women's event No. 365
1. Melissa Humana-Paredes/Sarah Pavan, Canada, $40,000
2. Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude, Germany, $32,000
3. Heather Bansley/Brandie Wilkerson, Canada, $20,000
4. Agatha Bednarczuk/Eduarda "Duda" Lisboa, Brazil 3 $16,000
Gold - Humana-Paredes/Pavan def. Laboureur/Sude, 2-1 (21-17, 12-21, 17-15) (52)
Bronze - Bansley/Wilkerson def. Agatha/Duda, 2-0 (21-19, 21-13) (37)