Vilnius, Lithuania, September 13, 2020 - The pairs of Margherita Bianchin/Claudia Scampoli of Italy and Kusti Nolvak/Mart Tiisaar of Estonia captured gold medals here Sunday as the two teams claimed their first-ever FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour crowns while spoiling the bids by duos from Latvia and Lithuania to win their country's first championships for women and men, respectively.
Competing in their third FIVB event together, the second-seeded Bianchin and Scampoli captured Italy's fourth women's World Tor crown by posting a 2-0 (21-17, 21-11) win in 30 minutes over ninth-seeded Latvians Marta Ozolina and Luize Skrastina, who were seeking their country's first-ever women's gold medal on the international circuit.
Seeded second and playing in their third World Tour finale, Nolvak and Tiisaar claimed Estonia's second men's FIVB title by posting a come-from-behind 2-1 (12-21, 22-20 15-12) victory in 47 minutes over top-seeded Lithuanians Robert Juchnevic and Artur Vasiljev, who were seeking their nation's first-ever men's or women's gold medal on the global league.
While Bianchin and Scampoli's win earned Italy's first women's World Tour gold medal since 2018, Nolvak and Tiisaar's victory matched the effort by Kristjan Kais and Rivo Vesik, who teamed to win Estonia’s first FIVB title in June 2007 at Zagreb, Croatia.
Bianchin and Scampoli's best previous finish on the World Tour was a fifth last month at an event in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Nolvak and Tiisaar lost their two previous FIVB title matches against China (Peng Gao/Yang Li) in Sentosa, Singapore in 2018 and against Latvia (Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins) in Jurmala, Latvia in 2019.
In the women’s bronze medal match, Chile claimed its first-ever women’s medal on the FIVB World Tour as fourth-seeded Francisca Rivas and Chris Vorpahl defeated third-seeded Ieva Dumbauskaite and Karole Virbickaite 2-0 (21-19, 21-15) in 38 minutes.
In a match featuring World Tour newcomers, fourth-seeded Alberto Di Silvestre and Tobia Marchetto of Italy scored a 2-1 (23-21, 19-21, 16-14) victory in 45 minutes over fifth-seeded Dimitriy Korotkov and Timo Lohmus of Estonia. It was the first FIVB medals for the Italians.
The Vilnius Open, the first sanctioned FIVB World Tour event in Lithuania, was the 14th men’s and ninth women’s event to be staged this season as the bulk of the 2019-2020 calendar was either cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic.