Lausanne, Switzerland, September 3, 2018 - Anders Mol collected four FIVB beach volleyball post-season awards as the 21-year old Norwegian was selected as the circuit’s “most outstanding player” for the 2017-2018 season after being recognized as the World Tour’s best blocker, best offensive player and most improved performer in the voting by players, coaches, referees and FIVB officials.Quick links - Beach volleyball:FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour
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Christian Sorum, Mol’s partner, was named the FIVB World Tour’s best defensive player and the 22-year old Norwegian finished second in the voting to his Viking teammate in the best offensive and most outstanding player categories. Players from Brazil, Latvia, the Netherlands and Russia are also 2017-2018 recipients of World Tour post-season awards as announced by the FIVB on Monday.
Christian Sorum (left) and Anders Mol in Hamburg
For the 2017-2018 campaign, Mol and Sorum finished the season by winning the last two Beach Major Series events in Switzerland (Gstaad), and Austria (Vienna) and topped the Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals in Germany (Hamburg). By winning the Hamburg gold medal, Mol and Sorum collected the $150,000 paycheck - the largest gold medal purse in the history of beach volleyball.
Currently positioned as the top team in the World Tour rankings, Mol and Sorum captured four FIVB medals, eight “elite eight” finishes and 10 top nine placements in 13 international appearances together with $283,500 in winnings. The Norwegians won 41 of 58 matches for a 70.7 winning percentage.
Other 2017-2018 men’s award winners featured Brazilians Evandro Goncalves and Ricardo Santos, Latvians Janis Smedins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs, Dutchman Alexander Brouwer and Russian Igor Velichko. Except for Samoilovs and Velichko, the other four players have been recipients of FIVB World Tour post-season awards.
Brazilian Evandro in action
Evandro was named the World Tour’s top-server for the fourth-straight season while 43-year old Ricardo was selected as the FIVB most inspirational player and tied Samoilovs as the sportsperson of the year. Ricardo has now been honoured eight times in the post-season as he was the World Tour’s most outstanding player in 2005 and 2007, best hitter in 2005 and best offensive player in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
Smedins was named the best setter for the second time after winning the award in 2013 when he was also named the FIVB’s best hitter, best offensive player and sportsperson of the year. Smedins was honoured again in 2014 as the best hitter and best offensive player for the 2015-2016 season.
While Brouwer was honoured as the FIVB best hitter for the second straight season, Velichko completed his first full season on the World Tour by winning two gold medals and placing on the podium four times in 11 events with nearly $50,000 in earnings and a 33-13 match mark.
Igor Velichko of Russia
Competing with two different partners during the 2017-2018 season, the 23-year old Velichko captured gold medals in China with Maxim Sivolap last October at Qinzhou before topping the podium in mid-April at Xiamen with Oleg Stoyanovskiy. Velichko and Stoyanovskiy also placed second in Qatar and third in Moscow this past season and are currently the No. 8-ranked team on the World Tour ranking.
Most Outstanding Player: Anders Mol
Best Blocker: Anders Mol
Most Improved Player: Anders Mol
Best Offensive Player: Anders Mol
Best Hitter: Alexander Brouwer
Best Defensive Player: Christian Sørum
Best Server: Evandro Gonçalves
Best Setter: Janis Smedins
Most Inspirational: Ricardo
Sportsman: Ricardo and Aleksandrs Samoilovs
Rookie: Igor Velichko