Warsaw, Poland, July 1, 2018 – Home favourites and top seeds Piotr Kantor and Bartosz Losiak triumphed as the winners of the Warsaw four-star stop on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. It was the second gold for the Polish pair on the World Tour after topping the podium at the Rio de Janeiro Grand Slam back in March 2016. They also have six silver and five bronze medals on the Tour, as well as three titles from Age Category World Championships.
Third-seeded Brazilians Vitor Goncalves Felipe and Evandro Goncalves Oliveira Junior settled for silver after losing the big final to the Poles. It was their first medal as a team since their recent reunion, but they also have a gold medal from the Berlin Grand Slam back in 2013.
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The bronze medals went to the 10th-seeded Latvians Janis Smedins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs. It was the pair’s sixth bronze in an impressive list of World Tour honours, which also includes nine gold and five silver medals.
The men’s podium at Warsaw
The gold medal match started with a nail-biting first set, which went deep into overtime. Both teams failed to convert some set points before Vitor Felipe’s fantastic block closed it off at 29-27. At 5-5 in the second set, in a brilliant display of fair play, Vitor Felipe reversed a referee decision by admitting he touched the ball on blocking. This was a momentum changer for the whole match. Inspired by the support from the stands, Kantor and Losiak took control over the rest of the final and moved on to a 2-1 (27-29, 21-13, 15-12) victory.
“It feels amazing. This is the second gold in our career. We’ve been waiting for it for two years. I hope the next one will be sooner than that,” Losiak said after the awarding ceremony. “I also want to say ‘thank you’ to the Polish fans. See you next year in Warsaw.”
The bronze medal match was a tight battle between Smedins and Samoilovs and their opponents, fourth-seeded Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands. The two teams matched each other’s wins in the first two sets, with the Latvians winning the opening, and the Dutch drawing level. The tie-breaker was a fierce battle for every point, with frequent switches in the lead. Cheered on by the numerous Latvian fans in the stands, Smedins spearheaded his team’s attacks in the conclusive moments, but it was a monster block by Samoilovs that closed the match at 2-1 (21-18, 18-21, 17-15) in favour of Latvia.
“It was an amazing match!” an elated Samoilovs exclaimed. “We had an amazing atmosphere in the stadium and we are really happy that we won. It was almost like playing at home...”