Lausanne, Switzerland, August 19, 2019 - With three weeks of events left on the 2018-2019 international calendar, the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour prepares for a busy seven days with tournaments on three continents in four countries.
Highlighting the schedule is the men's-only US$75,000 Jurmala event in Latvia where World Tour veterans and Latvian Olympians Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins will be the featured team after the pair captured a FIVB title this past weekend in Russia by winning their second-straight Moscow Open.
While the men begin competing in Latvia on Wednesday, China hosts a $25,000 women's-only event in Zhongwei starting Thursday where the Asian country stages its second event this season. The host nation pair of Jingzhe Wang and Shuhui Wen will be seeking their fifth World Tour gold this season with their string of victories starting at September’s FIVB event in Zhongwei.
China's Jingzhe Wang (left) and Shuhui Wen (center) being interviewed after their last World Tour win at Qidong at the start of July
This week’s schedule also features a $10,000 double-gender event in Rwanda starting Wednesday on Pearl Beach in Rubavu as the African nation hosts its first-ever FIVB World Tour tournament on the shores of Kivu Lake.
The last event of the week starts Saturday for a $5,000 men's-only tournament in Salalah as Oman hosts FIVB World Tour competition for the second-straight season after staging a 2017-2018 event in Muscat where local favorites Nouh Al-Jalbubi/Mazin Alhashmi placed fourth in the tournament.
In World Tour action this past week, the FIVB played its 42nd and 43rd men’s events and 43rd and 44th women’s tournaments with double-gender European stops in Russia and Belgium.
In Moscow, Switzerland’s Joana Heidrich/Anouk Verge-Depre won their first FIVB World Tour gold together by defeating Talita Antunes/Taiana Lima of Brazil. It was the third World Tour gold medal for Heidrich and the second for Verge-Depre.
After failing to qualify for the main draw in their last FIVB event in Austria two weeks ago, Samoilovs and Smedins successfully defended their Moscow title Sunday by defeating Alison Cerutti/Alvaro Filho of Brazil in the finals. It was the 12th FIVB gold medal for Latvian pair as Smedins also netted his 13th World Tour title.
Russia - Moscow, August 14-18, $150,000, FIVB women's event No. 418
1. Joana Heidrich/Anouk Verge-Depre, Switzerland, $20,000
2. Talita Antunes/Taiana Lima, Brazil, $16,000
3. Brooke Sweat/Kerri Walsh Jennings, United States, $10,000
4. Karla Borger/Julia Sude, Germany, $8,000
Gold - Heidrich/Verge-Depre def. Talita/Taiana, 21-18, 16-21, 15-8 (49)
Bronze - Sweat/Walsh Jennings def. Borger/Sude, 24-26, 21-18, 15-10 (54)
Russia - Moscow, August 14-18, $150,000, FIVB men's event No. 451
1. Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins, Latvia, $20,000
2. Alison Cerutti/Alvaro Filho, Brazil, $16,000
3. Julius Thole/Clemens Wickler, Germany, $10,000
4. Saymon Barbosa/Gustavo "Guto" Carvalhaes, Brazil, $8,000
Gold - Samoilovs/Smedins def. Alison/Alvaro, 21-12, 21-16 (32)
Bronze - Thole/Wickler won by injury forfeit over Saymon/Guto
The Moscow men's and women's podium featured Brazilians, Latvians, Swiss, Germans and Americans
In Belgium at Knokke-Heist, the Galindo sisters (Andrea and Claudia) became the first Colombian women's or men's team to place on a World Tour podium as the pair captured the FIVB gold medal by defeating Sofia Bisgaard/Cecilie Olsen of Denmark in the finals.
In the Knokke-Heist men’s competition, France’s Timothee Platre/Jeremy Silvestre won their first FIVB World Tour title together by defeating Alexey Gusev/Pavel Shustrov of Russia in the gold medal match. It’s the first gold for Platre and the third for Silvestre.
Belgium - Knokke-Heist, August 15-18, €5,000, FIVB women's event No. 419
1. Andrea Galindo/Claudia "Gorda" Galindo, Colombia, €1,000
2. Sofia Bisgaard/Cecilie Olsen Denmark, €700
3. Raisa Schoon/Emi van Driel, Netherlands, €500
4. Maud Catry/Els Vandesteene, Belgium, €400
Gold - Galindos def. Bisgaard/Olsen, 21-16, 19-21, 15-10 (48)
Bronze - Schoon/van Driel def. Catry/Vandesteene, 21-13, 21-17 (28)
Belgium - Knokke-Heist, August 15-18, €5,000, FIVB men's event No. 452
1. Timothee Platre/Jeremy Silvestre, France, €1,000
2. Alexey Gusev/Pavel Shustrov, Russia, €700
3. Mathias Seiser/Maximilian Trummer, Austria, €500
4. Tim Lemmens/Anshel Ver Eecke, Belgium, €400
Gold - Platre/Silvestre def. Gusev/Shustrov, 21-18, 19-21, 17-15 (48)
Bronze - Seiser/Trummer def. Lemmens/Ver Eecke, 21-15, 21-13 (29)
Teams from Denmark, Russia, France, Colombia, Austria and The Netherlands placed on the Knokke-Heist podium
Following this week's action, the FIVB's men schedule will have two more events with stops in France (Montpellier, August 27-31) and Norway (Oslo, August 28-September 1). The FIVB World Tour Finals in Rome concludes the 2018-2019 calendar with a $600,000 event in the Italian capital September 4-8.