Baden, Austria, June 17, 2018 – The men’s final at the Baden one-star event on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour featured Austrians Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst against compatriots Julian Hoerl and Tobias Winter. Last year’s silver medal winners went for gold this time, winning by 2-1 (18-21, 21-16, 15-13).
Anders Berntsen Mol and Bjarne Nikolai Huus from Norway won bronze, as the sand Vikings emerged victorious against Austria’s Martin Ermacora and Moritz Pristauz in two sets – 2-0 (21-14, 21-19).
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The final saw side-out after side-out with neither team clearly dominating. The players knew each other too well. The first set was a real neck-and-neck race with Winter and Hoerl winning 21-18. The second set started with two points for Doppler and Horst, but Winter and Hoerl scaled up the pressure. Horst was strong in his defence and soon it was clear that there would be a third deciding set with Doppler and Horst winning the second 21-16. With many discussions about alleged service mistakes, the deciding set was close until Doppler and Horst finally went for gold and won by 15-13.
The men’s podium at Baden
“The first two thirds of the match were difficult, but we found our game in the end,” Doppler said. “Austria against Austria is always difficult to win. Tobi and Julian would have also deserved the win today. Huge thanks to our trainer! He helped us work well under pressure, which led to us being the golden boys today!”
The first set of the bronze medal match between Mol and Huus of Norway and Ermacora and Pristauz of Austria clearly went Norway’s way - 21-14 with the Austrians struggling to keep up. The second set was similar with Austrian insecurities and a clear Norwegian dominance. After a few mistakes from Ermacora and Pristauz and a medical time-out for Mol after having the ball smashed to his nose, the Norwegians won the second set 21-19 and the bronze.
“I am extremely happy. The audience is incredible, but now my batteries are empty,” Mol said upon the victory.
“Despite us losing, it was great fun to play!” Ermacora added.
In the first semifinal earlier on Sunday, Doppler and Horst played against Mol and Huus. In the first set, Mol convinced with efficient performance and Huus with great defence, winning 21-13. Doppler and Horst managed to find their game in the second and the third sets, winning by 21-17 and 15-10 to complete the turnaround.
At the start of the all-Austrian semifinal there were service and side-out mistakes on both sides of the court, but then Hoerl blocked excellently, which put a lot of pressure on Ermacora and Pristauz. Hoerl and Winter confidently won the match 2-0 (21-15, 21-11) to progress to the final.