Russia and Greece book tickets to Youth Continental Cup Final
Moscow, Russia, June 4, 2017. The very first event on schedule for the qualifying stage of the 2017-2018 CEV Youth Beach Volleyball Continental Cup came to a close on Sunday in Moscow. Russia and Greece progressed to the final stage of the competition scheduled for 2018 after finishing first and second in the boys’ and girls’ tournaments. The CEV Youth Beach Volleyball Continental will eventually determine the European contingent for the Beach Volleyball competition of the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
After completion of the first competition day on Saturday, teams from Russia, Greece and Finland were still in contention for the top two spots of the final standing in the women’s tournament. Russia’s Maria Voronina and Mariia Bocharova, however, were those emerging on top in the round robin phase of the competition after they claimed their respective matches with young opponents from Greece and Finland without dropping a single set. This way Russia made sure they would progress straight to the ‘grand finale’ of the event in Moscow with Finland and Greece battling it out for the second place to get there. It was not a real fight since Dionysia Matiou/Maria Klepkou easily beat Aliisa Vuorinen/Nea Kilpinen 21-7, 21-10. After that, Voronina/Bocharova completed a clean sweep of their matches on home sand in Moscow as they beat Matiou/Klepkou 21-19, 21-19 to claim the top spot of the standing.
“It is very cool that we managed to play such a tournament during the final days of the Moscow World Tour event. We were awarded in front of a full stadium, it was such a feeling - for the first time in my life. I want to develop further and to make some progress. I hope that the greatest victories are still ahead, but for now we have made an important step towards fulfilling our dream of competing at the Youth Olympic Games,” said Mariia Bocharova from Russia after the awarding ceremony.
Teams from Russia and Greece qualified to the final stage of the Continental Cup in the men’s competition as well. Russia and Greece played each other twice on Sunday – first in the round robin tournament where the home team Denis Shekunov/Pavel Shustrov won in two sets, and after that in a ‘grand finale’ the Greeks had qualified for after seeing off Finland earlier in the day. Russia kept their perfect record in the competition as Shekunov/Shustrov rallied to another 2-0 victory (21-7, 21-11) over Stefanos Mandilaris/Haralampos Andreopoulos.
The awarding ceremony on the centre court of the Vodniy Stadium was attended by the gold medallists from the 2014 Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China – Oleg Stoyanovskiy/Artem Yarzutkin from Russia and Eduarda ‘Duda’ Lisboa/Ana Patricia Silva from Brazil.
“Four years ago we qualified to the Youth Olympics by playing a similar tournament here and today we are standing on the podium of the World Tour event and playing against the best teams in the world. I wish you all will soon achieve great success at the senior level but for now I wish you all the best on their way to the Youth Olympics. Participation in the Olympics, even in the so-called Youth Games, brings memories which will remain with you for the rest of your life,” said Artem Yarzutkin after the awarding ceremony.
Stoyanovskiy/Yarzutkin, as well as Duda with her partner Agata Bednarczuk won bronze at the World Tour event which finished on Sunday in Moscow.
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