Latvians back on top with Moscow gold

Moscow, Russia, August 12, 2018 – Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins won their second FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour gold medal of 2018 when they defeated Alison Cerutti and Andre Loyola Stein in the Moscow 4-Star gold medal match on Sunday. 

The Latvian pair beat the Brazilian duo 2-0 (21-18, 21-13) to win in the Russian capital for a second time. Their first victory came in 2013, their first season in tandem. 

“We had such a big points difference and the thing we had to do was stay focused, which isn’t always easy to do,” Smedins said. “I was a little bit lazy at the end and they came back a bit. It was good for us that we had such a big difference. 

“Alison was playing very well in block and defence and he made me struggle today.”

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Samoilovs and Smedins' first gold of the year came at the Espinho 4-Star in Portugal, and it is their 10th on the World Tour since they paired up at the start of 2013. It is also the second time that they have won gold in Russia’s capital having topped the podium in their first season together. 

The duo has been in strong form over the summer and they also won silver at the CEV European Championships and bronze at the Fort Lauderdale 5-Star and Warsaw 4-Star to book their place at the Hamburg 2018 FIVB World Tour Finals. 

“They are such a good team with Olympic and World Championships gold medals between them,” Samoilovs said. “They started really well and then they lost their rhythm and we just focused on the next point and that meant everything went well for us.”

Moscow-born Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Igor Velichko gave the Moscow crowd plenty to cheer when they beat Brazil’s Evandro Goncalves and Vitor Felipe 2-0 (21-12, 21-10) in the bronze medal match. 

The Russians drew inspiration from a vociferous centre court crowd and quickly took control. Stoyanovskiy was in powerful form at the net and Velichko was a ball of energy at the back of the court. 

It is the second year in a row that Stoyanovskiy has appeared on the Moscow podium, after he and Artem Yarzutkin won bronze in 2017.

“It a big honour for me to play here in front of my friends and family and a special moment to win a medal,” Stoyanovskiy said. “It is the second year in a row as I won bronze here last year and I’m very happy.

“They are a really good team and Evandro is a world champ, so we prepared well for them and we did what we trained to do.”

The Moscow 4-Star was the last 4-Star tournament in the 2017-18 season, and ran from August 8-12. The final tournament to take place is the Hamburg 2018 FIVB World Tour Finals that run from August 15-19. 


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