Gold for Latvia and Russia at 2018 CEV U22 Beach Volleyball European Championship
The new generation of Beach Volleyball stars showed once again that the future is bright with the sport developing in the right way. The final day of competition in Jurmala will stay in the hearts of many Beach Volleyball fans as one filled with great games, long rallies and many positive emotions.
Apart from the 1,600 fans that came to Majori beach to enjoy the tournament, the Latvian President Mr Raimonds Vejonis was present among other officials such as the President of the Latvian Volleyball Federation - Mr. Atis Sausnitis, the Vice-President of the European Volleyball Confederation – Mr. Maris Pekalis, the Mayor of Jurmala Mrs. Rita Sproge and the deputy of the Parliament of Latvia – Mr Ainars Mezulis.
More details on the last day of #EuroBeachVolleyU22:
In the final match Mihails Samoilovs and Kristaps Smits from Latvia were better than Alejandro Huerta/Javier Huerta (ESP) scoring a 2-0 victory (21-13, 21-19). While in the first set the home stars did not have any serious problems, in the second part it seemed that the Spanish duo could change the course of things in their favour. However, despite being down in the result, Samoilovs and Smits managed to get themselves back and eventually closed the match in their favour.
Mihails Samoilovs (LAT): “After the last point in the second set, I couldn’t realise what was going on, why people were standing on their feet, applauding. Then I looked around and I saw that we had won. This feeling was just amazing. Winning at home is something that can’t be described.”
Lauris Iecelnieks, head coach of Latvia: “I don’t have words. It is wonderful. I want to thank all the people who came here to support us, the organisers of the tournament and the CEV for giving us the opportunity to feel the emotion of playing at home this kind of tournament.”
In the match for the third place the players from Lithuania – Patrikas Stankevicius and Audrius Knasas, disappointed the Russian Denis Shekunov/Dmitrii Veretiuk as they did not leave them any chances, seizing a comprehensive 2-0 victory (21-19, 21-12). Right after the game, a happy Audrius Knasas stated that winning this medal is amazing: “We actually haven’t practiced much together with Patrikas, because I got to know only one day before the start of the tournament that I would be playing here – the partner of Patrikas got injured. Thus it was a tough tournament, but we are excited to have finished on the podium. Of course, we are sorry about losing the semi-final earlier today, because maybe we could have shown more.”
Makroguzova and Kholomina proved that they are the best in their age group after winning over home stars Anastasija Kravcenoka and Tina Graudina with 2-0 (21-11, 21-19). The Russians, who took the title in the 2017 #EuroBeachVolleyU22 that took place in Baden, weren’t influenced by the supporters of the Latvian team and managed to stay concentrated, controlling the game from the beginning until the end.
“There are so many emotions right now, that we just don’t know what to say. We are happy. We did a lot of work, step by step as we said at the beginning of the tournament and on Sunday we showed what we can. The atmosphere here in Jurmala was great. Now we continue our journey in the world of Beach Volleyball, as we have to play at the Major Series in Vienna, so there is no time to rest."
In the Mediterranean derby for the bronze medal between Spain and Italy, the newly formed Spanish team of Daniela Mendoza/María Belén Carro emerged victorious after a great comeback (16-21, 21-15, 15-12) to edge the Italians Claudia Puccinelli/Gaia Traballi.
Both Spanish players were extremely happy after the win, telling that they had come to Jurmala to enjoy the event and to see how far they could get in the tournament since this is just the second time they were competing together as a team: “We started a bit worse than the Italian girls in the first set, but then we managed to change things in the second part. We spiked much stronger, as we know we can do. In the third set we kept calm and we worked things out our way. We have two more years to play together in this age group, so we hope this is just a good start to our future development.”
Click here for further information.
Information by cev.lu