Iceland and Andorra celebrate Beach Volleyball gold on final day of GSSE
2015 Games of the Small States of Europe
Reykjavik, Iceland, June 6, 2015. The Beach Volleyball tournament of the 2015 Games of the Small States of Europe (GSSE) came to an end on Saturday with Iceland and Andorra winning the gold medal in the women’s and men’s competition, respectively.
The fifth and final day promised to be a very exciting one especially in the women’s competition where as many as three tandems were still in contention for the gold medal, including the home team of Iceland. Everything was down to Saturday’s results and one possibility was to have three teams finishing the competition on nine points with the medals to be then awarded by breaking the tie according to their respective set and point ratio.
Three-time GSSE gold medallist Mariota Angelopoulou and her partner Zoi Konstantopoulou opened the last day by recording a 2:1 victory (19-21, 21-17, 15-12) in their match with Claudia Hasler and Petra Schifferle-Walser of Liechtenstein. As a result, the teams of Iceland and Monaco were set to play for gold and silver and in the end the home heroines Elisabet Einarsdottir and Berglind Jonsdottir cruised to a 21-19, 21-13 victory to claim a historic gold medal, the first one in Beach Volleyball for their country at the GSSE and in any international competition. Hasler and Schifferle-Walser of Liechtenstein got silver whilst Monaco’s Magali Muratore and Caroline Revel Chion had to be content with bronze following their straight-set loss. The Icelandic ladies swept all of their matches in Reykjavik and dropped only one set on route to gold in their game with Liechtenstein. On Saturday Malta’s Alison Borg and Gertrude Zarb ended the competition in fifth place edging Anne Grethen and Rebekka Klerf of Luxembourg.
In the men’s competition, teams from Andorra and Liechtenstein were set to play for gold. They both displayed some great actions in a final match that was a perfect advertisement for the sport. 2013 gold medallists Manuel Gahr and Maximilian von Deichmann of Liechtenstein won the opening set (21-17) but lost a close second stanza (20-22). In the tie-break everything went just easy for Andorra with the 47-year old Brazilian-born Genildo Cassiano Da Silva Prado and partner Xavier Folguera – who is 20 years younger – bringing it to an end at 15-7 to celebrate their country’s second GSSE gold (Folguera had topped the charts in 2011 in Vaduz together with Christian Salvador).
Dimitris Apostolou and Vladimir Knezevic of Cyprus claimed bronze after stamping a 21-15, 21-13 victory over Djamel Belhaouci and Ben Angelsberg of Luxembourg.
The Beach Volleyball event turned into a major success at this year’s GSSE attracting a lot of fans and with the historic gold medal won by the Icelandic ladies being the perfect icing on the cake.
Click here to retrieve comprehensive results of the competition
Click here for more photos of the competition
For further information visit also the official website www.iceland2015.is/english