Beach Pro Tour - News

Anders Mol & Christian Sorum

Reigning Olympic and world champions, FIVB World Ranking leaders and defending Ostrava trophy-holders Anders Mol & Christian Sorum triumphed once again at the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Elite16 men’s tournament that finished on Sunday in Czechia’s third largest city. It was the Norwegians’ third overall podium-topper in Ostrava, after they also won the 4-star event on the 2019 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. The Beachvolley Vikings have now raised their Beach Pro Tour medal count to 10 items, including a record-breaking six gold medals.

· Watch Beach Pro Tour Ostrava Elite16 replays on VBTV.

The silver medals went to Qatar’s Cherif Younousse & Ahmed Tijan. For the Tokyo 2020 Olympic bronze medallists, it was the first podium of the season and fifth overall on the Beach Pro Tour since it was launched last year.

USA’s Miles Partain & Andrew Benesh, seeded 13th in the main draw bracket, made their way to the podium after starting their Ostrava quest from Wednesday’s qualifiers. Their bronze was the pair’s second medal on the Beach Pro Tour, after the gold they took at the first Dubai Challenge in October.

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The men's podium in Ostrava

In Sunday’s gold medal match, Mol & Sorum dominated the first set to edge forward on the scoreboard, but seventh-seeded Cherif & Ahmed fought back in the second to push the final to a third-set decider. Regaining control on the court, the Norwegians made sure they stay in front on the way to Mol’s kill block that ended it at their way. Mol’s blocking efforts accounted for as many as six of his 28 points in the match. Sorum finished with 19 points as both he and his partner managed to ace twice each during the game. Ahmed’s 22-point tally included an ace and a block, while Cherif raised three stuffs towards a 15-point total.

“This means everything! It’s so special to play here in Ostrava, in front of all these amazing people,” said Mol at the end of the match. “I also want to thank my partner. He did a great job today. The Qatar boys really gave us a super strong match. They hit around my block every single ball, so it was really, really tough and we are just super happy. Thank you so much to the organizers for bringing out this event, because it’s one of the greatest events of the year and we hope to play here for the next 10 years at least...”

“I have Anders Mol by my side. He’s been amazing once again the whole tournament and it’s just an honour to play by his side and especially in front of so many awesome people and against so many great opponents that push us to play better. Team effort from everyone...” Sorum pointed out.

In the third place game, Partain & Benesh had to go against home favourites Ondrej Perusic & David Schweiner and the fantastic Ostrava crowd on the centre court stands that cheered the Czech team on. However, that seemed to be counter-productive for the Perusic & Schweiner this time as they made far too many unforced errors allowing the Americans to dominate throughout the match and celebrate a upset of the fourth-seeded opponents. Schweiner was the best scorer of the match with 18 points, while defender Perusic finished with seven. Benesh had 15 and Partain – 13.

“It feels great!” exclaimed Partain. “It was such a miracle to qualify and then just being able to break pool and just play one point at a time... Thank god for it because qualification was really difficult. We had pretty much already lost and somehow we were able to come back.”

“It was really fun to play in front of the Ostrava fans,” Benesh added. “Congratulations to Ondrej and David too! They are a really great team, one of the top teams in the world. And yes, I’m pretty tired and I am going to go take a nap pretty soon.”

In the first of Sunday’s two semifinals, Mol & Sorum and Perusic & Schweiner returned to their tradition to engage in three-set battles with the Beachvolley Vikings emerging victorious in the end. They came back from a set down to claim a win and make their way to their fifth final out of five Beach Pro Tour appearances in 2023. Mol made an impressive six kill blocks, while Sorum was on fire in offence, delivering as many as 30 kills towards the victory. Schweiner finished with 28 points, including three stuffs.

After the two women’s semifinals had also been resolved in tie-breaker sets, it was already mandatory that the second men’s semifinal be pushed to three as well. Partain & Benesh took the first set of that match, but then Cherif & Ahmed fought back to win it by . Ahmed outscored everyone on the court with 23 points, including an ace, while Cherif raised three kill blocks and also aced once to tally 17 points to his name. Benesh finished with 22 points, while Partain added another 15.