Mol & Sorum stay on track as Warsaw semifinalists emerge

Warsaw, Poland, June 15, 2019 – Norway’s Anders Berntsen Mol & Christian Sandlie Sorum will play against Russia’s Viacheslav Krasilnikov & Oleg Stoyanovskiy in one of the men’s semifinals of the four-star Warsaw stop on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. A Russian team will feature in the other one as well. Konstantin Semenov & Ilya Leshukov will face Brazil’s Evandro Goncalves Oliveira Junior & Bruno Oscar Schmidt for a spot in Sunday’s final.

World Ranking leaders Mol & Sorum extended their Warsaw winning streak to four matches without dropping a single set along the way and are well on track to making it four World Tour gold medals in a row. On Saturday, the second-seeded Norwegians went through a tough 2-0 (21-15, 25-23) straight-set win over Brazil’s Pedro Solberg & Vitor Goncalves Felipe (#17) in the round of 16, and followed up with a 2-0 (21-19, 21-17) shutout of sixth-seeded Italians Paolo Nicolai & Daniele Lupo in the quarterfinals.

“It’s hot!” was Mol’s first reaction after the win. “We have been battling some tight sets here and now we’re just really happy to be in the semifinals. I am really proud that we battled it through in these hot (non-Norwegian) conditions. We beat a lot of good teams and now we want take a medal.”

“Yes, there are so many good teams and to be able to beat many of them and win three tournaments in a row is just unbelievable!” Sorum agreed. “We want to continue playing well and win every match that we play. We also had a good match now. Nicolai & Lupo played well, they served really strong and I’m super happy with this result.”

Fifth-seeded Semenov & Leshukov were also quite emphatic in both matches they played on Saturday, continuing without a set lost in the tournament. In the second elimination round in the morning, they cruised to a 2-0 (21-15, 21-18) win over Spain’s Pablo Herrera Allepuz & Adrian Gavira Collado (#8). In the afternoon they achieved a quarterfinal 2-0 (21-16, 21-15) victory over Latvia’s Martins Plavins & Edgars Tocs (#15) and became the first team to secure a spot in the semis.

It was not even remotely as straightforward for the team of world champion Evandro and Olympic champion Bruno Schmidt. The Brazilian standouts had to go through two come-from-behind three-set wins on Saturday before securing the spot against Semenov & Leshukov in one of Sunday’s semifinals. 11th-seeded Evandro & Bruno Schmidt’s day started with a 2-1 (18-21, 21-18, 15-12) victory over Latvia’s Aleksandrs Samoilovs & Janis Smedins (#12) and went through a very tough 2-1 (24-26, 26-24, 15-7) nail-biter against Russia’s Nikita Liamin & Taras Myskiv (#16).

Evandro in reception

Third-seeded Krasilnikov & Stoyanovskiy managed to take revenge from Brazil’s Alison Cerutti & Alvaro Morais Filho (#14) for the three-set defeat in the pool stage. The quarterfinal clash between the two pairs resulted in a swift 2-0 (21-14, 21-16) win for the Russians. Before that, they knocked out seventh-seeded Qataris Cherif Younousse & Ahmed Tijan in a hard-fought 2-0 (22-20, 21-19) straight-setter.

Last year’s Warsaw winner Piotr Kantor and his partner for this year’s edition, Mariusz Prudel, were stopped in their quest to defend the title by Nicolai & Lupo in a tight second-round three-setter. After that game, Prudel, who has made the decision to devote more time to coaching youth and limit his participation in international tournaments, was honoured by the Polish federation for his career achievements and important contribution to Polish beach volleyball.

“I played for the Polish national team for many years and it was a very important part of my life,” he said. “Playing more beach volleyball is still in my plans, but I will focus mainly on training young players.”

Mariusz Prudel receives an award after his last match at Warsaw

Sunday’s semifinals are set to start at 10:00 (Norway vs Russia) and 11:15 (Brazil vs Russia) local time. The bronze medal match is scheduled at 15:30 and the gold medal final will begin at 16:45. All four games will be streamed live on the FIVB YouTube channel.


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