Hamburg, Germany, August 17, 2018 - The pairs of Anders Mol/Christian Sorum of Norway and Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak of Poland captured pool titles here Friday mid-day to advance to the semifinals of the $800,000 Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals presented by Vodafone.
With each pair guaranteed $35,000 for reaching the final four in the season-ending event on the 2017-2018 FIVB World Tour calendar, Mol/Sorum (Pool B) and Kantor/Losiak (Pool A) will begin their quest for the biggest gold medal purse in beach volleyball history Saturday as the two teams await the winners from Friday evening’s quarterfinal matches at Rothenbaum Stadium.
With the winning team sharing $150,000 first-place prize at Saturday’s men’s podium celebration, the second-seeded Mol and Sorum will play top-seeded Julius Thole/Clemens Wickler of Germany in the second FIVB World Tour meeting between the two teams.
Thole and Wickler, who finished second in Pool A with a 3-1 record, advanced to the semi-finals by posting a 2-1 (22-20, 15-21, 15-13) quarter-final win in 53 minutes over seventh-seeded Martin Plavins/Edgars Tocs of Latvia.
Kantor and Losiak, who have placed fifth and fourth in the last two World Tour Finals, will play Polish rivals and ninth-seeded Michal Bryl/Grzegorz Fijalek. After finishing second in Pool B, Bryl and Fijalek posted a 2-0 (21-18, 21-18) quarter-final win Saturday evening over eighth-seeded Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai of Italy in 39 minutes.
The win was the second FIVB between the two teams as Lupo and Nicolai defeated the Polish pair last month in Switzerland 2-0 (25-23, 26-24) at the Gstaad Major.
“The first match we lost in Gstaad and I was afraid of the game," said the 23-year old Bryl. "This is an amazing feeling, an amazing stadium and an amazing city. It’s a perfect tournament and my second dream after Vienna. It’s hard to imagine (an all-Polish semifinal) because we know each other . It’s great to win because one of our teams will be in the finals.”