Elite16 - Hamburg, GER - 2023 - Beach Pro Tour 2023 season - News

Mol, A./Sørum, C. (NOR) vs. Henning/Winter (GER) - Quarterfinals #6513719

Mol and Sørum frustrated the home fans with a win over Henning and Winter in the quarterfinals

The most successful team on the 2023 Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour season, Anders Mol and Christian Sørum are close to adding another positive result to their list at the Elite16 event held in Hamburg this week.

The reigning Olympic and world champions, the Norwegians advanced to the semifinals of the tournament at the Am Rothenbaum Stadium and will compete with Italians Paolo Nicolai and Samuele Cottafava, Brazilians Andre Loyola and George Wanderley and Swedish David Åhman and Jonatan Hellvig for the title on Sunday.

  • Watch the Beach Pro Tour Hamburg Elite16 matches live on VBTV

Norwegians and Italians will meet in the first semifinal of the men’s tournament, set to start at 12:00 local time (10:00 UTC), while the second matchup, reuniting Brazilians and Swedish, will begin one hour later. The medal matches will be held later in the day, with the dispute for bronze beginning at 16:30 local time (14:30 UTC) and the battle for gold starting at 19:00 local time (17:00 UTC).

Mol and Sørum arrived in Hamburg as the only team to appear in the final of each Beach Pro Tour event they played in 2023 and they’re just one win away from extending that record in Germany. The Beach Volley Vikings won gold in Doha, Ostrava and Montréal and got silver in Tepic, Uberlândia and Gstaad.

Ironically, however, the two made trip to Germany shortly after what could be considered their only frustrating result so far in 2023, a fifth-place finish at the European Championship, which kept them out of the podium at the continental event for the first time in their careers.

The Olympic champions have been in great form in Hamburg this week and that continued on Saturday, when they overcame Germans Paul Henning and Sven Winter in straight sets (21-14, 21-14) in the quarterfinals.

“We’re super hungry to fight back and show our best level here in Hamburg,” Mol said. “Last year I was sick and couldn’t play here, which was a big shame because it’s a great event and we have some great memories at the Am Rothenbaum. It’s great to be back and we’re very happy to be in the semifinals again.”

Beach Pro Tour Hamburg Elite16 – Match Schedule and Results

To Nicolai and Cottafava, on the other hand, the semifinal appearance in Hamburg is the first for the two in an Elite16 event this season. The Italians started the season with inconsistent results, but are now in what’s arguably their best moment in 2023, having won bronze at the Edmonton Challenge and finished fourth at the European Championship within the last month.

Herrera/Gavira (ESP) vs. Cottafava/Nicolai (ITA) - Quarterfinals #6514191

Nicolai and Cottafava thank the fans for their support

Also undefeated in Hamburg, the two had a tough battle with Spanish veterans Pablo Herrera and Adrián Gavira in the quarterfinals, but emerged victorious with a 2-1 (16-21, 21-13, 15-10) win.

“It’s really good for us to be in the semifinals again,” Cottafava explained. “I think we’re playing very well now and these results confirm that. We deserved to be on the semifinals here and at the European Championship and I’m very glad that we’ve been able to play the best teams in the world.”

The other two semifinalists, Andre/George and Åhman/Hellvig finished second in the pools won by Mol/Sørum and Nicolai/Cottafava respectively and because of that had to play two matches on Saturday.

Cherif/Ahmed (QAT) vs. George/Andre (BRA) - Quarterfinals #6514707

Hamburg fans celebrate Andre for his birthday

The Brazilians started the day by eliminating Germans Nils Ehlers and Clemens Wickler with a two-set (21-17, 21-19) victory in the Round of 12 and later knocked out Qataris Cherif Younousse and Ahmed Tijan also in straight sets (21-18, 21-16) in the quarterfinals.

“I’m very happy, making it to the semifinals is a nice birthday present,” Andre, who turned 29 on Saturday, remarked. “We’ve been working to add some jumpsetting to our game and it has worked very well so far. Now we want to win the gold medal.”

The reigning European champions, Åhman and Hellvig dominated Lithuanians Audrius Knasas and Patrikas Stankevicius to a straight-set (21-11, 21-15) victory in the Round of 12 and then needed the tie-breaker (20-22, 21-16, 15-11) to overcome Americans Andy Benesh and Miles Partain in the quarterfinals.

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