Russian youngsters win double gold at U18 European Champs
2013 CEV U18 Beach Volleyball European Championship
Molodechno, Belarus, August 31, 2013. About 1,200 fans got together on Saturday afternoon for the last act of the 2013 CEV U18 Beach Volleyball European Championship in Molodechno where Russia’s boys and girls completed a clean sweep of the top spots as the tournament drew to a close after four days. Artem Yarzutkin/Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Daria Rudykh/Nadezhda Makroguzova showed they have a special connection with this city as they won European gold after finishing first also at the EEVZA U18 Championship held in Molodechno two weeks ago.
Yarzutkin/Stoyanovskiy played Austria’s Paul Buchegger/Moritz Bernd Pristauz-Telsnigg in the final and they clearly enjoyed the support of the Belarusian audience though a small group of Austrian fans was also to be heard. After a very close start, the Russian boys got a very small margin halfway through the set and eventually brought it home at 21-19 for the provisional 1:0. In the second set their opponents from Austria set the pace of the game for quite some time and Paul Buchegger stood out with the great hits he regularly killed. However, Yarzutkin and Stoyanovskiy fought their way back and right by the time it counted the most, they played superbly and finished it off at 22-20 to claim gold.
Germany’s Niklas Rudolf and David Sossenheimer settled for bronze as they claimed the derby with their compatriots Felix Göbert/Eric Stadie in straight sets (22-20, 23-21). This is the second bronze medal for Rudolf who last year in Brno had finished third alongside Clemens Wickler.
The pre-favorites of the tournament finally crossed their ways in the girls’ final after Sarah Schneider/Leonie Welsch of Germany and Russia’s Daria Rudykh/Nadezhda Makroguzova had claimed their respective semifinals in straight sets. Schneider/Welsch played good but the Russian girls scored the final rallies of the first set to cash the provisional 1:0 (21-19). In the second set Rudykh and Makroguzova looked very determined and concentrated while their opponents struggled in defense, so that the Russian duo gradually widened their lead and cruised to the final 21-15 to seal their memorable campaign with gold. “I have to admit that the toughest game in this tournament was against France’s Chamereau/Cazaute for these girls played superbly, especially in defense. Once we walked past the French girls, everything worked well for us and even in the final we did not experience any problem as we felt confident and we knew what we were supposed to do” Makroguzova said.
The bronze medal game was much closer but in the end Ukraine’s Alina Demydova and Darya Udovenko were the ones to celebrate as they beat Dutch girls Joy Stubbe and Julia Wouters in three sets (18-21, 21-18, and 15-7). Actually the Oranjes had almost cashed the bronze medal after winning the first set and leading 17:14 in the second, but suddenly things did turn around and their dreams of glory were shattered by the furious comeback of the Ukrainian girls.
At the end of the awards ceremony CEV Jury President and Board member Maris Pekalis of Latvia expressed his wish that this was only the first of many international events to take place in the city of Molodechno especially given the many and very passionate supporters that had got together throughout the four days of the tournament.
Click here for more info