The current number one team in the world, Anders Mol and Christian Sorum, were only 21 and 22, respectively, when they won their first gold on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour and took off on a phenomenal quest that quickly led them to the top of the rankings and earned them fame as the great prodigies of today's beach volleyball. It’s been an adventure, and the BeachVolley Vikings are out to conquer the world.
Christian Sorum started playing beach volleyball internationally in 2011 and earned his first medals at age category championships – 2013 FIVB U19 Beach Volleyball World Championship silver with Bjarne Huus and 2014 CEV U22 European Championship gold with Runar Sannarnes.
Anders Mol appeared on the international stage in 2013. Two year later, he was a 2015 U20 European champion with his cousin Mathias Berntsen. Shortly before teaming up with Christian Sorum, Mol claimed another continental title, at the 2016 U20 European Championship with his brother Aleksander Sorum.
Anders and Christian joined forces in the summer of 2016 and that is when the true success story began. Their first tournament together was the Klagenfurt Major in late July. They were seeded 12th in the qualification bracket and their fifth-place finish surprised even them.
“It was amazing! We only wanted to qualify for the main draw, but we managed to finish fifth,” Sorum told Volleyball World.
A month later, they became U22 European champions at the continental event in Thessaloniki.
“Anders went to play indoor for one season and we started to play together again in 2017, but 2018 is the season when we had our breakthrough,” Sorum continued.
Mol and Sorum earned their first international senior-level medal in 2017, but even the CEV European Masters title in Ljubljana sounds like a minor achievement compared to what was about to follow on the World Tour in 2018.
“Our second place in Itapema (in May 2018) brought us our first Word Tour medal. Then we had a couple of bad tournaments. At the (5-star) tournament in Gstaad, where the whole thing started, we were so close to missing the final. USA had match point and I just dived for the ball. I did not see it, but I went for it. The ball touched me and when I looked up the ball was alive,” Sorum recollected. “We managed to win the match and then we got the gold. Since then, it’s been a fun journey. It’s been a fairy tale, actually.”
The Norwegian pair went on to top the podiums of the next four consecutive tournaments too. They won their first senior continental title at the CEV European Championship in the Netherlands; then took gold at the Vienna 5-star and at the World Tour Finals in Hamburg before ending the year with another gold, at the Las Vegas 4-star.
The fairy tale continued in 2019 when Mol and Sorum took another six gold medals out of the seven finals on the World Tour they qualified for. They also claimed bronze at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Hamburg and at the World Tour Finals in Rome. They were World Tour season champions in both 2018 and 2019. To their already impressive tally, they added two more back-to-back European titles, at Moscow 2019 and Jurmala 2020.
“It’s amazing to play at all these events around the world, to be able to do that with Anders and to have the success we had!” said Sorum.
Mol (now 23) and Sorum (25) are deservedly the number one team in both the FIVB World Ranking and the Provisional Olympic Ranking. Anders is recovering well from some hip problems he’s been suffering from recently and the pair can look forward to their Olympic debut in Tokyo this summer with optimism.
“We are really super excited about playing at our first Olympics, together with all the other athletes in different sports. Hopefully, there will be some spectators there. To feel the energy of the Olympics is huge. It’s been on our minds to play at the Olympics since we were kids, and to do that for Norway is special,” said Sorum.
The young Norwegian prodigies hope to continue following their childhood dreams and write the sport’s history as the new decade unfolds and their journey continues.
“When I was a kid, I saw the World Championship in Stavanger in 2009. From that day, I said to myself that I wanted to be the best. But I didn’t know what it took – the lifestyle, the traveling and all these good teams that you have to beat. I followed my dream, but as I got older I saw how difficult it was,” Sorum said. “Although we are number one now, I feel that there are so many good teams out there. We always push each other, and the level you play at comes from your opponents. I think together we develop the sport…”
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