Nummerdor/Schuil complete European triumph in Klagenfurt
News from the FIVB
Klagenfurt, Austria, July 22, 2012. Dealing with every challenge and adversity thrown at them from the quality of competition to a day-long outpouring of steady rain and its effects on the playing surface, Netherlands' gritty and determined Richard Schuil and Reinder Nummerdor captured an impressive men’s gold medal victory Sunday to conclude the annual A1 Grand Slam presented by ERGO in Klagenfurt am Wörthersee.
Nummerdor/Schuil won gold in Austria as a prelude to the 2012 Olympic Games by defeating Brazil’s seventh-seeded Marcio Araujo/Pedro Salgado before an adoring Austrian standing-room-only crowd in the Klagenfurt stadium center court.
In yet another match in the epic saga of the FIVB SWATCH World Tour in Klagenfurt, Reinder Nummerdor/Richard Schuil came from way back to pull out another three set victory, defeating Brazil’s Marcio/Salgado 14-21, 21-12 and 15-13 in the 48-minute gold medal finale. It once again delighted the enthusiastic crowd of nearly 9’000 that packed the Klagenfurt stadium center court who spent most of the match on their feet recognizing the talent of both teams.
Finishing their 68th FIVB SWATCH World Tour event as a team, Nummerdor/Schuil are now 34-16 this season, earning their ninth career gold medal, 16th overall medal and a spot in the final four for the 20th time.
Brazil’s Marcio/Salgado are now 38-19 overall this season while playing in just their 10th tournament as a team and this was their third medal together, second silver and their fourth final-four appearance. Individually, Marcio, 38, was playing in his 69th FIVB SWATCH World Tour final four having now won 20 gold, 19 silver, 16 bronze medals and 14 fourth place finishes. Pedro was playing in his 30th world tour final four and now has 11 gold, five silver, five bronze medals and nine career fourth place finishes.
Nummerdor/Schuil, who finished fifth in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, are now going to Great Britain as the fifth-seeded team in this year’s London Olympics.
Marcio/Salgado are the only team in this year’s Klagenfurt final four who will not be playing in the upcoming Olympic Games in London. Marcio finished ninth in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and second in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games with different partners. Marcio, 38, is also one of only five players who have won more than 1’500 matches on the FIVB SWATCH World Tour.
Brazil and Netherlands have met six times as countries in an FIVB SWATCH World Tour gold medal match with Brazil holding a 4-2 lead in the match-up following Sunday’s victory by the Netherlands.
The world’s top Beach Volleyball tandems returned to Austria as the double-gender event marked the 16th consecutive visit by the FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour with Klagenfurt hosting 15 men’s and 11 previous women’s events. In 2001 Klagenfurt hosted the FIVB SWATCH World Championships and has hosted a Grand Slam every year since 2002.
Netherlands’ Nummerdor/Schuil seemed to be uncertain of what Brazil’s Marcio/Salgado’s tactics were in the first set and fell behind early and never really threatened in the set won by the Brazilians, 21-13. In the close second set, the Dutch altered their strategy from the first set and squeezed out a 21-19 win and set the stage for the third set. Tied six times in the first six points of the tie-breaker set, Nummerdor/Schuil went up by four points at 10-6, then held off the charge of Brazil’s Marcio/Salgado who closed to 8-10 before the Dutch pulled ahead again at 12-9, 13-10 and the Brazilians gave one more lunge 12-13 and 13-14 before the match ended when Marcio’s kill landed just outside the right sideline.
“Any win is a good one, but this gold medal victory, just before the Olympics is a great one for us,” said Nummerdor following the title match. “We started slow in both the semifinal against the Americans and against here with the Brazilians, but we switched tactics in both matches and hung on by making fewer errors. We were 6-1 here in Austria which gives us some consistency and momentum as we head to the Olympic Games again.”
In Sunday’s scheduled all-American bronze medal match between the top two seeds in this tournament and the two American men’s teams heading to London for the Olympic Games, top-seeded Jake Gibb/Sean Rosenthal won by forfeit as USA’s second-seeded Phil Dalhausser/Todd Rogers took a medical forfeit as Dalhausser injured his ankle in their semifinal match earlier Sunday.
With the full house already on its collective feet, Sunday morning’s men’s semifinals saw Nummerdor/Schuil increase their FIVB SWATCH World Tour series edge to 5-2 with a hard fought, three-set, come-from-behind victory over USA’s Gibb/Sean Rosenthal, 13-21, 21-19 and 16-14 in 53 minutes. In defeat, Rosenthal said: “In the second set we came back from a 13:19 deficit and thought we would win, and we didn’t. Basically they had better ball control and were much better setting than we were, so it’s a very tough loss especially because we have been in the last three gold medal matches on the World Tour.”
In the second semifinal, another three-setter delighted the enthusiastic crowd as Brazil’s Marcio/Salgado, who did not qualify for this year’s Olympics, won their ‘gold medal’ match against reigning Olympic champions Dalhausser/Rogers, 25-23, 17-21 and 15-10 in one hour, seven minutes as the only set with significant drama was the first when both teams had set points but it was the Brazilians who closed it out.
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