Lausanne, Switzerland, July 15, 2019 - There is no rest for the best players on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour as the next three weeks feature events in Europe, North American and Asia starting Tuesday with FIVB events in Portugal and Canada.
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The past three weeks the World Tour has staged events in Germany, Italy, Korea and Switzerland highlighted by the $1-million FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Hamburg and the $600,000 Swatch Major Gstaad where teams from Canada, Norway, Russia and the United States topped the podiums.
The European stop this week in Espinho features $300,000 prize money with the women's qualifiers on Wednesday starting the competition followed by pool play on Thursday to set the field for Friday's elimination rounds leading to Saturday's medal matches.
The Espinho men's qualifier is Thursday with group action Friday, elimination rounds Saturday and the medal matches Sunday. The winning men's and women's team at the 18th Espinho will split the $20,000 first-place prize along with 800 Olympic qualifying points.
The 2018 Espinho men’s champions Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins of Latvia will be back to defend their title while there will be a new women’s winner as Australians Mariafe Artacho and Taliqua Clancy did not enter this year’s Portuguese Open.
Aleksandrs Samoilovs (left) and Janis Smedins of Latvia
For the first time in three seasons, the FIVB returns to Canada as Edmonton becomes the fourth city in the North American country to host a World Tour event along with Montreal (2002, 2005-2007), Quebec (2011) and Toronto (1998-2000, 2016).
The $150,000 Edmonton Open will have the men and women following the same schedule starting with qualifying on Wednesday, pool play Thursday and elimination rounds on Friday and Saturday. The medal matches will be played on Sunday as the winning teams share the $10,000 first-place prizes and 600 Olympic qualifying points.
Following the Portuguese and Canadian events, the FIVB will stage World Tour events from July 24-28 in Japan and Italy. The Tokyo Open will be a test event for the 2020 Olympic Games for men and women. The Italian event in Pinarella di Cervia is a men’s-only tournament.
In FIVB World Tour action last week, Norway's Anders Mol/Christian Sorum captured the men's gold medal on Saturday at the Swatch Major Gstaad with Americans Alix Klineman/April Ross topping the women's podium the next day in the Swiss Alps village.
For the Norwegians, it was their eighth World Tour medal as Mol and Sorum defended their title in Gstaad after winning their first FIVB title in the village in 2018. In winning her 25th FIVB gold medal and fourth with Klineman, Ross at 37 years became the oldest woman to reach the top of the podium in the 20-year history of Gstaad.
Stretching for the ball is American April Ross
Switzerland - Gstaad, July 9-13, $300,000, FIVB men's event No. 440
1. Anders Mol/Christian Sorum, Norway, $40,000
2. Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen, Netherlands, $32,000
3. Evandro Goncalves/Bruno Oscar Schmidt, Brazil, 20,000
4. Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai Italy 12 $16,000
Gold - Mol/Sorum def. Brouwer/Meeuwsen, 2-0 (21-17, 21-15) (34 minutes)
Bronze - Evandro/Bruno def. Lupo/Nicolai, 2-1 (16-21, 21-17, 15-12) (50)
Anders Mol (left) and Christian Sorum of Norway
Switzerland - Gstaad, July 9-14, $300,000, FIVB women's event No. 407
1. Alix Klineman/April Ross United States, $40,000
2. Maria Antonelli/Carolina Salgado, Brazil, $32,000
3. Rebecca Cavalcanti/Ana Patricia Silva Brazil, $20,000
4. Nina Betschart/Tanja Huberli, Switzerland, $16,000
Gold - Klineman/Ross def. Antonelli/Carolina, 21 (15-21, 21-17, 15-12) (55)
Bronze - Rebecca/Ana Patricia def. Betschart/Huberli, 2-0 (21-14, 21-12) (31)
In addition to the Gstaad action this past week, FIVB held women’s-only World Tour stops in Korea and Italy where pairs from Russia and The Netherlands topped the podiums.
Korea - Daegu, July 11-14, $10,000, FIVB women's event No. 408
1. Alexandra Moiseeva/Ekaterina Syrtseva, Russia, $2,000
2. Reika Murakami/Kaho Sakaguchi, Japan, $1,400
3, Dhita Julian/Putu Utami, Indonesia, $1,000
4. Eva Freiberger/Valerie Teufl, Austria, $800
Gold - Moiseeva/Syrtseva def. Murakami/Sakaguchi, 2-1 (15-21, 21-17, 15-12) (45 minutes)
Bronze - Julian/Utami def. Freiberger/Teufl, 2-1 (17-21, 21-18, 16-14) (48)
Italy - Alba Adriatica, July 11-14, €5,000, FIVB women's event No. 409
1. Raisa Schoon/Emi van Driel, Netherlands, €1,000
2. Gaia Traballi/Agata Zuccarelli, Italy, €700
3. Katja Stam/Julia Wouters, Netherlands, €500
4. Arianna Barboni/Federica Frasca, Italy, €400
Gold - Schoon/van Driel def. Traballi/Zuccarelli, 2-0 (21-17, 21-11) (30)
Bronze - Stam/Wouters def. Barboni/Frasca, 2-0 (21-16, 21-17) (33)
The women's podium at Alba Adriatica with Italian and Dutch players