The Hague, the Netherlands, June 16, 2013 – Brazil’s Pedro Solberg and Bruno Oscar Schmidt defeated Corrientes champions Janis Smedins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs to win their first team gold on Sunday at the Transavia The Hague Grand Slam. For Bruno it was his second final in The Hague, in 2010 he won silver with Benjamin Insfran.
Despite the support of a large number of Latvian fans in the stands of the Scheveningen Beach Stadium Smedins and Samoilovs did not live up to their standard. In the first set they could keep up with the Brazilians, but in the second they were overpowered: 21-19 21-12.
Battle at the net
The match was mostly decided at the net, where Samoilovs could not get past Pedro’s powerful block. Brazil scored three points in a row from 17-12 in the second set to reach their match point and again another great block by Pedro on Samoilovs decided the match.
Smedins and Samoilovs teamed up this season and changed positions as well. Smedins, who won bronze at the Olympics in London last summer with Martins Plavins, changed to defence with Samoilovs taking the net.
It worked in Corrientes, where they beat Pedro and Bruno in the semifinals to grab the gold in the final, but not in The Hague. “We studied them a lot after Corrientes”, Pedro said. “Two weeks ago they won, today was our day. We came here to fight, not to lose and we were ready to fight till the end.”Renewed partnership
Pedro (27) and Bruno (26) started a new partnership this season, but were successful together before. In 2006 they won the Junior World Championships together in Myslowice. At the first Grand Slam of this year, in Shanghai, they won silver.
Pedro: “We had a really good national season, which is a strong competition as well. So we were well prepared. I am really happy with Bruno. He is not only my partner, but my friend as well.”
Pedro won gold before, but for Bruno this was his first gold on the World Tour. “After four years trying, it finally happened”, he concluded. “Let’s see what happens in Rome.”FIVB Transavia Grand Slam tournament page Twitter: @FIVB Volleyball
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