28/08/2016 22:56
Norway and Latvia claim top honours in Thessaloniki
2016 CEV U22 Beach Volleyball European Championship

Thessaloniki, Greece, August 28, 2016. Norway’s Anders Berntsen Mol/Christian Sandlie Sørum and Latvia’s Anastasija Kravcenoka/Tina Graudina claimed the gold medals in Kardia, Thessaloniki, as the 2016 CEV U22 Beach Volleyball European Championship came to an end on Sunday afternoon at Avant Garde Sports Club.

The public who attended the final day of the tournament had the privilege to see yet another strong performance delivered by the best European players of their generation, who will give much to talk about in the future.

In front of quite a few Beach Volleyball fans, including the President of the Hellenic Volleyball Federation and CEV Board member Achilleas Mavromatis, the Norwegian duo Mol/Sørum claimed the European title by beating Austrian Moritz Pristauz-Telsnigg/Maximilian Trummer 2-0 (21-13, 21-15) in the final.

For Mol/Sørum, who won in straight sets all seven matches they contested in the tournament, this triumph wasn’t unprecedented. Two years ago, Sørum was crowned U22 European champion with another partner, Runar Torsvik Sannarnes, while two months ago, Mol won the gold medal at the U20 European Championship in Antalya, playing along with Aleksander Sandlie Sørum, the younger brother of his current partner. Mol is already a three-time European champion since last year he won the U20 title as well along with his cousin, Mathias Berntsen.

Anders Berntsen Mol said: “It wasn’t an easy victory for us, even though we won all matches in straight sets. There are always good teams coming to the European Championships and we had to play well. We are happy for our achievement.”

Partner Christian Sandlie Sørum added: “I’m happy to repeat the U22 title, which I had won in 2014 as well. It’s always a tough task, it is never easy. Every game was important for us and we had to work hard. The tournament here was great, the facilities, the city, everything... Maybe the weather was a little bit too hot for us, but this wasn’t such a big problem!”

Frenchmen Arnaud Gauthier-Rat/Arnaud Loiseau joined the two finalists on the podium, as they won the bronze medal thanks to their victory over Ukraine’s Oleh Plotnytskyi/Denys Denysenko 2-1 (18-21, 21-18, 19-17) in the ‘small final’.

In the women’s division there was significantly more suspense in the final match, between Kravcenoka/Graudina from Latvia and Katarzyna Kociolek/Jagoda Gruszczynska from Poland. The Latvian duo prevailed over three sets (16-21, 21-15, 15-9), just as they had done in the semi-final against Germany’s Lisa Arnholdt/Nadja Glenzke some hours earlier.

Tina Graudina, who is now a two-time European champion since last year she won gold in the U18 tournament on home soil in Riga together with Paula Neciporuka, said: “We came to this tournament as a preparation for the Jurmala Masters, which will be held in our home country next week. We were hoping to do well, and this is the best result we could have dreamed of. I am thankful to my partner for her performance!”

Anastasija Kravcenoka added: “It’s our first time in the U22 European Championship and I must say that winning the gold medal was a bit of a surprise for us! We believed in our potential, but there were a lot of strong teams here and we didn’t think about the first place until we reached the semi-finals. We enjoyed the competition, all three courts here were prepared in the best way.”

Germany’s Arnholdt/Glenzke made up for their semi-final loss in the bronze medal match, which they won over France’s Alexia Richard/Lézana Placette 2-1 (22-20, 20-22, 15-9).

Click here for further information including detailed results, final standing and much more

News nr. 1 of 6
28/08/2016 02:06:00
Mandilaris brothers defend Greek pride

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