Lausanne, Switzerland, October 11, 2020 - The first of three FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championship titles for three-time Olympic champions Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings of the United States highlight this week in FIVB beach volleyball history.
On October 12, 2003 on the sands of Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro, May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings dethroned two-time defending world champions Shelda Bede and Adriana Behar of Brazil 2-0 (21-19, 21-19) in a 40-minute gold medal match.
The 2003 World Championship podium topped by Walsh Jennings and May-Treanor of the United States.
Shelda and Adriana had captured the previous two World Championship crowns in 1999 and 2001 at events in France (Marseille) and Austria (Klagenfurt), respectively. Prior to the Marseille and Klagenfurt gold medal successes, the Brazilians captured the bronze medal at the 1997 FIVB finals in Los Angeles.
The 2003 match in Rio was the 17th of 26 FIVB matches between the two legendary teams and the eighth time the two pairs had squared off for a World Tour gold medal. May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings won 19 meetings with Shelda and Adriana highlighted by eight gold medal wins over their Brazilian rivals.
Over 11 months later, Shelda and Adriana had a chance to avenge the Rio setback at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, but May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings prevailed 2-0 (21-17, 21-11) in the 42-minute finale. The win was the seventh of 12-straight victories by the Americans over Shelda and Adriana as the two teams were meeting for the final time in a FIVB gold medal match.
Athens 2004 Olympic podium placers (left to right) were Adriana Behar, Misty May-Treanor, Shelda Bede, Kerri Walsh Jennings, Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs.
In a May 4, 2019 article on fivb.com, Walsh Jennings said she was not aware of the impact of the Rio Worlds at the time. “I only thought it was a tournament, it was in Rio and it was a big one. The awareness grows as you keep playing the game and you understand the stakes. We all know how big this tournament is. It’s almost bigger than the Olympics because you compete against 47 other teams, but the growth is just maturity.”
At the end of this week in FIVB beach volleyball history, teams from Russia and Sweden captured the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic titles. In the October 17, 2018 finales in the Argentinean capital, Maria Voronina and Mariia Bocharova of Russia defeated Italians Claudia Scampoli/Nicol Bertozzi 2-0 (21-19, 21-19) in the 33-minute women's gold medal match while David Ahman and Jonatan Hellvig of Sweden bested Dutchmen Yorick de Groot/Matthew Immers 2-0 (22-20, 21-15) in the 28-minute men's title match.
Swedish gold medal for David Ahman (left) and Jonatan Hellvig.
This week also marks the birthday for Olympians Marcio Araujo (47 Monday) of Brazil and Nikita Liamin (35 Wednesday) of Russia. Marcio Araujo placed ninth at the Athens 2004 Summer Games with Benjamin Insfran before claiming the silver medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympics with Fabio Luiz Magalhaes.
A winner of 20 FIVB World Tour titles with three different partners, Marcio Araujo claimed the three medals at the FIVB World Championships highlighted by a gold medal in 2005 at Berlin with Fabio Luiz. Marcio Araujo and Benjamin placed third at the 2003 Rio worlds and second at the 2011 events in Rome with Ricardo Santos.
Digging the ball is Brazilian Marcio Araujo
Liamin, who is seeking his second Olympic berth, placed fifth at the Rio 2016 Summer Games with Dmitri Barsouk as the pair was eliminated in the quarterfinals by eventual Copacabana silver medal winners Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai of Italy in three sets.
A fourth-place finisher with Taras Myskiv at the recently-completed European Championships in Latvia, Liamin has two FIVB World Tour gold medals to his credit as he and Viacheslav Krasilnikov topped podiums in 2017 in Iran and the Netherlands. Liamin and Krasilnikov also placed third at the Vienna 2017 World Championships.
Bronze medallist Nikita Liamin (left) and Viacheslav Krasilnikov of Russia at the 2017 Vienna worlds
Matteo Varnier, who coaches Lupo and Nicolai, turns 44 Friday. Varnier qualified for the Beijing 2008 Olympics with Italian partner Riccardo Lione but was forced to withdraw due to a dislocated shoulder. Varnier was named the World Tour’s top first-year player in 2005.
Italian Matteo Varnier (left) played with Paolo Nicolai in 2009.
Here is a list of FIVB gold medal winning teams during the October 11-17 time period.
•In 2008, Reinder Nummerdor and Richard Schuil of the Netherlands won the Dubai Open. It was the seventh of nine FIVB World Tour wins for the team.
•In 2008, Nicole Branagh and Walsh Jennings won the Dubai Open. It was the first of two FIVB World Tour wins for the team.
•In 2014, Youssef Krou and Edouard Rowlandson of France won the Xiamen Open. It was the first and only FIVB World Tour win for the team.
•In 2015, Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena of the United States won the Puerto Vallarta Open. It was the second of nine FIVB World Tour wins for the team.
•In 2015, Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst of Germany won the Puerto Vallarta Open. It was the third of 11 FIVB World Tour wins for the team.
The Dubai 2008 podium with American, Brazilian, Dutch and German players.
•In 2003, May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings won the FIVB World Championships at Rio de Janeiro. It was the 11th of 40 FIVB World Tour wins for the team.
•In 2014, Maria Antonelli and Juliana Felisberta of Brazil won the FIVB Xiamen Open. It was the first of two FIVB World Tour wins for the team.
•In 2018, Abolhamed Mirzaali and Rahman Raoufi of Iran won the Babolsar Open. It was the first and only FIVB World Tour win for the team.
Juliana Felisberta (left) and Maria Antonelli with their Xiamen gold medals.
•In 2013, Bruno Oscar Schmidt and Pedro Solberg of Brazil won the São Paulo Grand Slam. It was the second of two FIVB World Tour wins for the team.
•In 2013, April Ross and Walsh Jennings won the São Paulo Grand Slam. It was the first of 11 FIVB World Tour wins for the team.
The 2013 Sao Paulo grand slam podium with Americans, Brazilians and Germans.
•In 2018, Ilya Leshukov and Konstantin Semenov of Russia won the Yangzhou Open. It was the second of two FIVB World Tour wins for the team.
•In 2018, Alix Klineman and Ross won the Yangzhou Open. It was the second of four FIVB World Tour wins for the team.
The 2018 Yangzhou podium with the presenters and American, Brazilian and Russian players.
•In 2005, Sara Montagnolli and Sabine Swoboda of Austria won the Buenos Aires Satellite. It was the only FIVB win for the team.
•In 2017, Maxim Sivolap and Igor Velichko of Russia won the Qinzhou Open. It was the only FIVB win for the team.
•In 2017, Mariafe Artacho and Taliqua Clancy of Australia won the Qinzhou Open. It was the first of six FIVB World Tour wins for the team.
The 2017 Qinzhou podium with presenters and American, Australian, Cuban, Polish and Russian players.
•In 2005, Emanuel Rego and Ricardo won the Buenos Aires Satellite. It was the 17th of 34 FIVB wins for the team.
Emanuel Rego (right) and Ricardo Santos at a Rio 2016 Open media conference.
•In 2018, Ahman and Hellvig won the Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games. It was the first of two FIVB wins for the team.
•In 2018, Bocharova and Voronina won the Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games. It was the second of three FIVB wins for the team.
Buenos Aires women's Youth Olympic podium with Italians, Russians and Norwegians.