Lausanne, Switzerland, May 3, 2020 - The happenings on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour during the May 3-9 period are numerous with 28 gold medals being awarded along with birthdays for 11 Olympians, including medal winners John Child of Canada, Daniele Lupo of Italy and Martins Plavins of Latvia.
Child, who celebrates his 53rd birthday on Monday, competed in 127 FIVB World Tour events with a 304-224 match record (57.6 winning percentage). He and Mark Heese captured the men’s first-ever Olympic medal by defeating Portugal’s Joao Brenha and Miguel Maia 2-0 (12-5, 12-8) in a 78-minute side out third-place match at the Atlanta 1996 Summer Games on July 28.
Canadian John Child (third from the left) with (left to right) Jorge Barros (Brazil), Yukiko Takahashi (Japan), Jose Loiola (Brazil), Marco Antonios Pirris "Marcao" (Brazil) and Jackie Silva (Brazil).
As Canada’s most successful men’s team on the international beach volleyball circuit, Child and Heese played in 114 World Tour events (1995 through 2005) with one gold medal together while placing on 14 FIVB podiums with 22 final four finishes and appearing in 42 quarterfinals.
Brenha, who teamed with Maia to play in three Olympics with a Sydney 2000 fourth and Athens 2004 ninth, celebrates his 50th birthday Wednesday. Brenha appeared in all his 134 FIVB World Tour events with Maia as the pair was Portugal's finest beach volleyball team ever with two gold medals in 1998 (Ostende, Belgium) and 1999 (Moscow).
Joao Brenha (right) with a Mikasa reception as Portuguese partner Miguel Maia follows the action
Lupo, who turns 29 Wednesday, and Plavins, who celebrates No. 35 on Friday, have both qualified their countries for the Tokyo Summer Games as both earned tOlympic berths last September in China where they were successful with their partners Paolo Nicolai and Edgars Tocs, respectively, at Haiyang.
Lupo ranks with Nicolai as Italy’s best beach volleyball team ever as the pair has competed in 86 FIVB events with three gold medals, 22 total medals and 25 final four finishes. Plavins has appeared in 155 World Tour events with nine different partners as he has captured three gold medals with nine podium placements and 12 final four finishes.
Competing at the World Tour net are Poland's Piotr Kantor (left) and Daniele Lupo of Italy.
Other beach volleyball Olympians celebrating birthdays this week are Poland’s Piotr Kantor (28 today), Rii Seike (46 Monday), Norway’s Martin Spinnangr (33 Tuesday), Dutchman Christiaan Varenhorst (30 Wednesday), American Sinjin Smith (63 Thursday), German Stephanie Pohl (42 Thursday) and Canadian Sam Schachter (30 Friday).
Kantor and Schachter are still competing on the FIVB World Tour with both in pursuit of their second Olympic berth after competing in the Rio 2016 Games with Bartosz Losiak and Josh Binstock, respectively. Kantor and Losiak have captured 14 FIVB medals in 90 World Tour appearances with two titles.
Schachter, who is playing now with Sam Pedlow with 33 FIVB starts together with a team-best finish of fourth at an October 2018 event in Yangzhou, China, appeared in back-to-back World Tour Finals with Binstock in November 2014 at events in Argentina (Paraná gold) and Qatar (Doha silver).
At the Sochi Olympic qualifier are Canadians (left) Grant O'Gorman, Sam Pedlow, Sam Schachter & Josh Binstock
A 1996 Olympian, Smith teamed with Randy Stoklos to win the first-ever FIVB beach volleyball event in February 1987 in Rio de Janeiro as the pair captured 10 gold medals in 12 World Tour appearances in the first seven years of international-sanctioned events. Their last tournament together occurred this week on May 9 at a 1993 domestic event in San Antonio, Texas.
Pohl and Okka Rau captured Germany’s first ever women’s gold medal on the World Tour by defeating Brazilians Maria Antonelli/Valinda Leão in the July 2008 French finale in Marseille. Participants in 91 World Tour events with three medals, Pohl and Rau placed fifth and ninth at the Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, respectively.
Marseille gold for Stephanie Pohl (left) and Okka Rau of Germany
Seike, who competed eight seasons on the FIVB World Tour with 56 appearances, placed 19th at the Sydney 2000 Olympics with Yuki Ishizaka. Spinnangr teamed with Tarjei Skarlund to place ninth at the London 2012 Olympics where they were eliminated by eventual bronze medal winners Plavins and Janis Smedins. Spinnangr and Skarlund are the only Norwegian men's or women's team to play in the final four in Stavanger as the pair placed second in 2010 and fourth in 2011.
Varenhorst finished fifth with Reinder Nummerdor at the Rio 2016 Summer Games where the pair was eliminated by compatriots Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen in the quarterfinals. Varenhorst is competing now on the World tour with Steven van de Velde
During a May 3-9 period, a total of 28 World Tour gold medals were awarded where Brazilian Harley Marques topped the podium four times in Shanghai, China, with three gold medals with Pedro Solberg. Here is the list by date.
Harley Marques (left) and Pedro Solberg of Brazil with Shanghai 2008 gold
• In 2008, Harley/Pedro of Brazil won in Shanghai, China (the fifth of 10 wins for the team).
• In 2009, Alison Cerutti/Harley won in Shanghai (the first of two wins for the team).
• In 2014, Lupo/Nicolai won in Shanghai (the second of three wins for the team).
• In 2008, Talita Antunes/Renata Ribeiro of Brazil won in Shanghai (the last of five wins for the team).
• In 2013, Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson of the United States won in Shanghai (the first of two wins for the team).
• In 2014, Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst of Germany won in Shanghai (the first of 11 wins for the team).
• In 2019, Alison/Alvaro Filho won in Port Dickson, Malaysia (the first of two wins for the team).
• In 2019, Barbora Hermannova/Marketa Slukova of the Czech Republic won in Port Dickson (the last of four wins for the team).
Barbora Hermannova (left) and Marketa Slukova of the Czech Republic
• In 2007, Harley/Pedro Solberg won in Shanghai (the first of 10 wins for the team).
• In 2012, Chen Xue/Xi Zhang of China won in Shanghai (the 11th of 15 wins for the team).
• In 2013, Talita/Taiana Lima won in Shanghai (the first of five wins for the team).
• In 2007, Jia Tian/Jie Wang of China won in Shanghai (the last of three wins for the team).
• In 2012, Phil Dalhausser/Todd Rogers of the United States won in Shanghai (the last of 23 wins for the team).
• In 2018, Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands won in Huntington Beach, USA (the last of six wins for the team).
• In 2018, Fernanda Alves/Barbara Seixas of Brazil won in Huntington Beach (the last of three wins for the team).
• In 2018, Ilya Leshukov/Konstantin Semenov of Russia won Mersin, Turkey (the first of two wins for the team).
• In 2018, Lena Plesiutschnig/Katharina Schutzenhofer of Austria won in Mersin (the last of two wins for the team).
• In 2018, Max-Jonas Karpa/Milan Sievers of Germany won in Manila, the Philippines (the first and only win for the team).
• In 2018, Ayumi Kusano/Takemi Nishibori of Japan won in Manila (the first and only win for the team)
• In 2018, Anna Behlen/Sarah Schneider of Germany won in Phnom Penh, Cambodia (the first and only win for the team).
2008 podium placers in Mersin, Turkey
• In 1995, Sandra Pires/Jackie Silva of Brazil won in Clearwater, USA (the third of 12 wins for the team).
• In 1995, Roberto Lopes/Franco Neto of Brazil won in Clearwater, USA (the fifth of 13 wins for the team).
• In 2011, Dalhausser/Rogers won in Shanghai (the 18th of 23 wins for the team).
• In 2010, Harley/Pedro Solberg won in Shanghai (the last of 10 wins for the team).
• In 2011, Sanne Keizer/Marleen Van Iersel of the Netherlands won in Shanghai (the first of two wins for the team).
• In 2016, Lupo/Nicolai won in Sochi, Russia (the last of three wins for the team).
• In 2016, Joana Heidrich/Nadine Zumkehr of Switzerland won in Sochi (the second of two wins for the team).
• In 2010, Jennifer Kessy/April Ross of the United States won in Shanghai (the sixth of 10 wins for the team).
Shanghai 2010 medal winners (left to right) are Larissa Franca, Juliana Felisberta, April Ross, Jen Kessy, Maria Antonelli and Talita Antunes.