Latvia’s Smedins and Samoilovs take FIVB World Tour title
News from the FIVB
Durban, South Africa, December 14, 2013. Latvia’s Janis Smedins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs took the 2013 FIVB World Tour title by reaching the quarterfinals at the FIVB Beach Volleyball Durban Open early Saturday morning.
The Latvian pair defeated Andy Cès and Edouard Rowlandson from France 2-0 (21-12, 21-12) to progress to the last eight, where they will meet the Italian Matteo and Paolo Ingrosso twins.
“It was a little bit unusual this morning”, Smedins said, “because it was one of the most important matches for us. We played a good game and the French guys did not have any chances to beat us, we were leading all the time. Now we can relax and play some nice games.”
The win over Cès and Rowlandson earned them 350 points, enough to secure the World Tour crown. Even if their Brazilian rivals Pedro Solberg and Bruno Oscar Schmidt win the tournament and claim the 500 points on offer, it will not be enough to surpass them.
Samoilovs had a look at their rivals earlier in the morning. “I was really stressed, because Brazil played really good. I saw that they could easily win the tournament here. Pedro is a real fighter and he will fight to the last point. So that’s why we were very concentrated on this match. And when you have stress you don’t play very confident, but today we played really good. Finally, we have Latvia on top of the world!”
Smedins teamed up with Samoilovs after winning the bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games with Martins Plavins. Smedins wanted a return to the back of the court, having played as blocker with Plavins. Samoilovs was considered one of the up-and-coming stars of Beach Volleyball, and they announced their partnership late in 2012.
Since they started playing together this year the pair won gold in Corrientes and Moscow, silver in The Hague and Rome and bronze in Sao Paulo.
The double gender FIVB Durban Open is the last event on the 2013 calendar.