Year in Review – Norwegians Mol and Sorum make it five alive at 4-Star tournaments

Lausanne, Switzerland, December 26, 2019 – Norway’s Anders Mol and Christian Sorum were the dominant team in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour 4-Star tournaments in 2018-19 with five victories.

There were 12 4-Star men’s tournaments in the 2018-19 season. Five took place in Asia, two in the Americas, and five were played in Europe.

Tournament winners received $20,000 and 800 ranking points. Silver medallists left with $16,000 and 720 ranking points and bronze medallists finished with $10,000 and 640 points. 

The Norwegians’ success meant they took top spot in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Rankings and are on course for qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

One of their gold came at the Tokyo 2020 test event. They defeated Germany’s Lars Fluggen and Nils Ehlers 2-0 (21-17, 21-18) to claim their fifth 4-Star gold of the season. 

Their first came in Las Vegas, and they also topped the podium at Itapema, Jinjiang and Ostrava. 

In Ostrava they beat local favourites Ondrej Perusic and David Schweiner 2-1 (17-21, 21-15, 15-10) in the gold medal match after letting four match balls slip. 

“A lot of Norwegian fans came up from Rio (to Itapema) and we went from silver last year,” Sorum said. “To win a gold in Brazil is always special. Ostrava was straight after China, so we were tired, but we managed to play some really good volleyball and to play against the home nation in the final was special. 

“Tokyo is really special because there’s going to be the Olympics there next year. It was really fun to be there and really good to win the final and gold.”

Russia’s Viacheslav Krasilnikov and Oleg Stoyanovskiy (below) were the only other team to win more than one 4-Star tournament. 

They opened the year by claiming gold in The Hague and later topped the podium in Xiamen. It was a sign of their growing confidence and they ended the year having won the Hamburg 2019 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships and Rome 2019 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Finals. 

They nearly won a third when the season opened in Yangzhou but were denied in the final by compatriots Konstantin Semenov and Ilya Leshukov 2-1 (14-21, 21-19, 15-13).

Chilean cousins Marco and Esteban Grimalt won their first World Tour 4-Star gold at the Doha 4-Star, a victory that came a week after their first World Tour success at the Sydney 3-Star. 

Their win in Doha came after they defeated USA’s Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena 2-0 (21-15, 21-15). 

"It was a crazy two weeks, and we are so proud of our team, our family and our country,” Esteban Grimalt said. “I don’t have words to describe our feelings right now.

“When we started on the World Tour nine years ago it was against Dalhausser (and Todd Rogers) and now many years later we have beaten him in a final. It is a dream come true for us, but we want more and to keep improving.”

Evandro Goncalves and Bruno Schmidt, and Alison Cerutti and Alvaro Filho ensured the Brazilian anthem was heard twice at 4-Star tournaments, in Warsaw and Espinho. 

Janis Smedins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs (below) denied Alison and Alvaro a second at the Moscow 4-Star though. The Latvians won their second consecutive gold in the Russian capital with a 2-0 (21-12, 21-16) victory. 

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