Elite16 - Uberlandia, BRA - 2023 - Beach Pro Tour 2023 season - News

BPT Uberlandia - Awarding Ceremony_16

Perusic and Schweiner pose with coach Andrea Tomatis after their victory

Ondrej Perusic and David Schweiner played three of the five best-ranked teams in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Rankings at this week’s Uberlândia Elite16, but not even the quality of their opponents was enough to stop the Czechs from winning their first Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour gold on Sunday in Brazil.

The Tokyo Olympians had a brilliant performance in the gold medal match at Praia Clube, upsetting reigning Olympic and world champions Anders Mol and Christian Sørum of Norway to walk away with a 2-1 (21-19, 15-21, 15-11) victory and the title. Poles Michal Bryl and Bartosz Łosiak took bronze in Uberlândia.

  • All Beach Pro Tour Uberlândia Elite16 matches are available on VBTV.

It was the first victory of the Czechs in a Beach Pro Tour event and just their second tournament in the 2023 season – they were fifth in Tepic in March. Partners since 2016, Perusic and Schweiner won FIVB World Tour events in Doha and their home sand Prague in 2021.

In Uberlândia, besides playing World Rankings leaders Mol and Sørum twice, losing in pool play and winning in the final, the two also defeated third-placed David Åhman and Jonatan Hellvig of Sweden in the quarterfinals and fifth-placed Paolo Nicolai and Samuele Cottafava in a Pool A encounter.

“We came here knowing that we would face the best teams on the planet and that a bad result could send us to the qualifier,” Schweiner explained. “Playing here was also a little bit of a challenge because it was very hot and those are not the best conditions for us, but everything came together and it all worked out for us.”

BPT Uberlandia - Men's Finals - NORvsCZE_11

Schweiner faces Mol's block in Uberlândia

Their victory in the gold medal match in Uberlândia marked the first triumph of the Czechs against Mol and Sørum since 2017, when the teams met for the first time and before the incredible rise of the Beach Volley Vikings. Between that match and the Uberlândia final, the Norwegians topped Perusic and Schweiner on eight consecutive occasions, including two in gold medal matches of tournaments held in Ostrava, Czechia.

“This tournament couldn’t have gone better for us,” Perusic commented. “We had a great atmosphere and had some really nice days here in Uberlândia. And it was a great final. The Norwegians are the best team in the world, but we had nothing to lose. We played them many times and we lost the last several ones. But the atmosphere here was amazing and that pushed us to win at the end. We made some good plays at the end and were also a little bit lucky.”

BPT Uberlandia - Awarding Ceremony_08

The Czechs top the podium, flanked by teams from Norway and Poland

Beach Pro Tour Uberlândia Elite16 – Match Schedule & Results

Bryl and Łosiak completed the podium after they defeated Dutch Steven van de Velde and Mathew Immers 2-1 (21-19, 21-23, 15-9) in the bronze medal match and made their first podium appearance in the 2023 Beach Pro Tour season.

“I like playing in Brazil very much,” Łosiak commented after the final point. “It’s amazing to play here, in front of these beautiful people. I’ve played here more than ten times in my career and always enjoyed it, especially when I was able to bring a medal home, like today.”

Both semifinals in Uberlândia went three sets, with Mol and Sørum overcoming van de Velde and Immers 2-1 (20-22, 21-11, 15-9) and Perusic and Schweiner prevailing over Bryl and Łosiak in the tie-breaker (13-21, 21-19, 15-10).

Madrid with host the next Beach Pro Tour event, a Futures tournament that will have the men competing from May 11-14 and the women getting on the sand a week later. Perusic and Schweiner’s home tournament of Ostrava will be the next at the Elite16 level, from May 31-June 4.

Quick links:
Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour 2023