Martins Plavins caps memorable season by claiming Russian Champs
News from the National Federations
Anapa, Russia, September 12, 2012. The final stage of the Russian Beach Volleyball Championship was completed this past Sunday in Anapa with two foreign players, i.e. Barbara Hansel from Austria and Latvia’s Martins Plavins, teaming up with local stars to finish atop of the standings.
Similarly to the past few years the last stop of Russia’s Beach Volleyball season was hosted by the premises of “Volley Grad”, the splendid sports complex owned and managed by the Russian Volleyball Federation in the small village of Vityazevo, Krasnodar Region.
To the delight of the local audience, two pairs representing the club “Vityaz” eventually claimed the first place of the standings.
In the women’s semis the winners of the EEVZA Tour finals, Ekaterina Khomyakova and Anna Vozakova, easily cruised past 2006 European champion Alexandra Moiseeva and her partner Ekaterina Syrtseva. In the second Austria’s Barbara Hansel and local star Evgenia Ukolova were able to storm back from one set down to edge Svetlana Popova and Maria Prokopieva (née Bratkova) from the Moscow Region.
In the final Ukolova crossed once more her ways with Khomyakova/Vozakova after losing the last act of the EEVZA Tour finals in Zelenogradsk as she was playing with Giulia Momoli of Italy. Ukolova and Hansel lost the opening set but claimed the second (21-19) to call for the tie-break and there they eventually seized the day after dissipating some match balls.
Bronze went to Moiseeva/Syrtseva who defeated Popova/Prokopieva in straight sets in the “small final”.
In the men’s tournament Olympic bronze medalist Martins Plavins and his partner Yury Bogatov edged once more, like they had done in the final match of the EEVZA Tour, Russia’s Olympians Konstantin Semenov and Sergei Prokopiev, this time coming back after losing the first set to claim the next two with the score of 21-13 and 15-8. Their opponents in the final turned to be Dmitry Barsouk and Maxim Khudyakov who easily disposed of Krasilnikov/Bykanov in the other semifinal.
Plavins eventually crowned a memorable summer – including Olympic bronze and the FIVB Grand Slam in Stare Jablonki with regular partner Janis Smedins, plus the EEVZA Tour finals – by cruising to a 2:0 win to celebrate his second Russian title, this time with Bogatov. Bronze went to Semenov/Prokopiev while Ruslan Bykanov and Vyacheslav Krasilnikov, a young duo from Saint Petersburg, could be happy with their fourth place.
“What can I say? Another title to cap a memorable summer! This is definitely the best season in my career” said Plavins. “However, I hope that some more wins and titles will follow next year. Many thanks to the Russian Volleyball Federation and the local club for the opportunity I got to play here as special guest. It was really cool. Thanks also to my partner Yury because he also deserves a lot for this success and our win in Zelenogradsk. Now I can relax a bit and celebrate the end of the season”.