Chile and Argentina split South American Tour trophies

Francisca Rivas and Cris Vorpahl make history again

Teams from Chile and Argentina dominated the 2020 South American Beach Volleyball Tour Finals that were played in Santiago and reunited nine countries from the continent between Sunday and Monday.

The finals of both the women’s and the men’s tournament at the Parque Penalolen had a Chilean team facing an Argentinean duo and the countries split the trophies with the hosts prevailing among the women and the visitors taking home the men’s title. Brazil collected the bronze medals for both genders.

In the women’s final, Francisca Rivas and Cris Vorpahl made history once again as the first Chilean women’s team to top the podium on the South American Tour. Last September, they had become the first female duo in their country to secure a medal on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour after they finished third at a one-star event in Vilnius, Lithuania.

The Chileans had a strong showing in the gold medal match to upset two-time Olympian Ana Gallay and her partner Fernanda Pereyra 2-1 (22-24, 26-24, 15-12) and claim the title.

“It’s the most incredible moment of my career, it’s Chile’s first gold medal on the South American Tour,” Rivas said after the final. “This is the result of several years of hard work and when a moment like this actually happens, it’s a very special day.”

Brazilians Andressa Cavalcanti and Vitoria Rodrigues won the bronze medals after they defeated Colombians Diana Rios and Yuli Ayala in the three-set 2-1 (21-13, 15-21, 15-7) match for third place.

Argentineans Nicolas Capogrosso and Julian Azaad prevented a gold medal sweep by the host country as they upset the home favourites cousins Marco and Esteban Grimalt with a sound 2-0 (21-14, 21-14) triumph to top the podium.

"It's incredible that we won this tournament and finished first in the rankings," Azaad wrote on his Instagram account. "After such a difficult year, that's a fantastic reward for our team that works a lot and is getting better every day."

Brazilian veterans Thiago Barbosa and Oscar Brandao finished third and stepped on to the podium thanks to a 2-0 (24-22, 21-14) bronze medal match win against Colombians Sebastian Denis and Sneider Rivas.

The event also defined the final standings of a shortened season, which featured three tournaments. Brazil were the overall winners among the women with 720 points, while Argentina topped the standings among the men with the same total.

The continent’s elite will remain in Santiago for two more days as the South American Volleyball Federation (CSV) will run the opening event of the 2021 season immediately after the conclusion of the 2020 season. The tournament will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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Main Photo: Chilean Volleyball Federation

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