Latvian pairs claim gold and silver at the Durban Open
News from the FIVB
Durban, South Africa, December 14, 2013. Latvia’s Janis Smedins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs and China’s Chen Xue and Xinyi Xia claimed the gold medals at the FIVB Beach Volleyball Durban Open on Saturday.
The Latvians actually struck gold twice, also winning the 2013 FIVB World Tour title. In the all-Latvian final of the Durban Open they defeated compatriots Martins Plavins and Aleksandrs Solovejs 2-1 (15-21, 21-17, 15-10). Brazil’s Pedro Solberg and Bruno Oscar Schmidt won the bronze medal.
Xue and Xia won back to back gold after winning the Phuket Open early November, in only their third event as a team. The Chinese beat Germany’s Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude 2-0 (21-18, 21-18) in the final. USA’s Jennifer Kessy and Whitney Pavlik took the bronze.
Double gold for Latvia’s Smedins and Samoilovs in Durban
Janis Smedins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs struck gold twice in Durban on Saturday. After securing the 2013 FIVB World Tour ranking title in the morning, the Latvians also won the FIVB Beach Volleyball Durban Open. “To get two titles in the same tournament, that is pretty amazing. It feels very good”, said Smedins.
In an all-Latvian final they defeated compatriots Martins Plavins and Aleksandrs Solovejs 2-1 (15-21, 21-17, 15-10) and claimed their third gold medal this year together with two silvers and one bronze.
Back to back gold for China’s Xue and Xia
After winning the Phuket Open in November, new pair Chen Xue and Xinyi Xia claimed their second gold medal in a row on Saturday at Durban’s New Beach. The Chinese defeated Germany’s Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude 2-0 (21-18 21-18) in the final of the FIVB Beach Volleyball Durban Open. In the first set both teams played point by point with the Germans targeting young Xia, but the 16-year old stood her ground.
Out of respect for former South African president Nelson Mandela, who will be buried on Sunday, the Durban Open semifinals and finals were moved forward to Saturday.
The Durban Open was the last event on the 2013 FIVB calendar. Next year Durban will host another double gender Open from December 10-14.
The 2014 season starts in April with the Fuzhou Open in China (22-27), followed by the Shanghai Grand Slam, which takes place from April 29 – May 4. The 2014 calendar features 10 Grand Slams, an inaugural FIVB Grand Slam Final and 11 Open tournaments.
For further information visit www.fivb.org