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23/12/2013 13:00
Latvia’s Janis Smedins tops FIVB Beach Volleyball season awards with five
News from the FIVB

Lausanne, Switzerland, December 23, 2013. Latvia’s Janis Smedins capped a glorious 2013 season by winning five prizes in the 2013 Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) Beach Volleyball season awards.
Having won the 2013 FIVB Season’s Rankings with Aleksandrs Samoilovs, Smedins was selected as the 2013 Best Offensive Player, Best Setter, Best Hitter, plus Sportsman of the Year and combined with teammate Samoilovs honored as the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball Team of the Year.
Smedins, 26, burst onto the international scene with a bronze medal in the 2012 London Olympic Games and then followed up by winning his first Grand Slam gold medal with former teammate Martins Plavins, before changing partners to play with Samoilovs ahead of the 2013 season.

“Last year was an incredible blur for me and this year was something even more special to remember because I didn’t have expectations like 2012,” Smedins said. “Aleksandrs and I make a good team and we were very, very focused this year and we were very pleased with three gold medals and six podium finishes overall in our first year in FIVB international competition. It is good to win these honors, but I play as part of a team and we want to represent our country well every time we step onto the sand.” Smedins and Samoilovs also won silver at the 2013 CEV Beach Volleyball European Championship Final in Klagenfurt, Austria, only the second medal for their country in the 20-year history of the competition (Smedins had claimed bronze in 2010 together with former partner Martins Plavins).

The awards are chosen by players, coaches, referees and officials that participate in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour.

Brazil’s Alvaro Filho rounded off a season in which he won silver at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships and his first World Tour Grand Slam gold medal by claiming the Rookie of the Year and Most Improved Player awards.

His fellow Brazilians Pedro Salgado and Bruno Schmidt each won an award; Salgado was voted Blocker of the Year and Schmidt was chosen as the Best Defensive Player to end a year in which they finished in second behind Smedins and Samoilovs in the Season Rankings.

USA’s Beijing 2008 Olympic champion Phil Dalhausser claimed the Most Outstanding Player award for the second time after winning previously in 2010, while his compatriot Jacob Gibb was named Most Inspirational Player.

2013 Men's FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour/FIVB Open Award Winners

Most Outstanding
Phil Dalhausser, United States
Best Blocker
Pedro Salgado, Brazil
Best Defensive Player
Bruno Oscar Schmidt, Brazil
Best Hitter
Janis Smedins, Latvia
Best Offensive Player
Janis Smedins, Latvia
Best Setter
Janis Smedins, Latvia
Most Improved Player
Alvaro Filho, Brazil
Most Inspirational
Jake Gibb, United States
Janis Smedins, Latvia
Top Rookie
Alvaro Filho, Brazil
Team of the Year
Janis Smedins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs, Latvia

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