Beach Pro Tour - News

Swedish teenagers Jacob Holting Nilsson & Elmer Andersson triumph at the Rakvere Futures (source: cev.eu)

Swedish teenagers Jacob Holting Nilsson & Elmer Andersson triumph at the Rakvere Futures (source: cev.eu)

Swedish teenagers Jacob Holting Nilsson & Elmer Andersson made their way from the qualifiers all the way to the top of the men’s podium at the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Rakvere Futures in Estonia and collected their first medal out of three appearances on the Tour as a pair. The silver went to home team Urmas Piik & Dimitriy Korotkov. Germany’s Robin Sowa & Maximilian Just took the bronze. Another German duo, Anna-Lena Grune & Chenoa Christ, snatched their second consecutive Beach Pro Tour gold on the women’s side, leaving Ukraine’s Maryna Hladun & Tetiana Lazarenko and Lithuanian qualifiers Daniele Kvedaraite & Jekaterina Kovalskaja with silver and bronze, respectively.

The 2024 Rakvere Futures men’s podium (source: cev.eu)

The 2024 Rakvere Futures men’s podium (source: cev.eu)

Just 10 days after turning 18, Elmer Andersson celebrated his first Beach Pro Tour medal, and it was a gold medal. After their triumph as U22 European champions about a month ago, he and his 19-year-old partner Jacob Holting Nilsson rejoiced once again on top of the podium. It was their third overall appearance on the Beach Pro Tour as a pair, but they never made it past the qualifications before.

They started their quest in Rakvere from the qualifiers again, but went through the tournament on a 6-1 win-loss record to grab the trophy. Seeded seventh in the main draw, the Swedish teens, produced a 2-0 (21-16, 21-18) sweep of Saturday’s final against 11th-seeded Urmas Piik & Dimitriy Korotkov of Estonia. Another Estonian duo, top-seeded Kusti Nolvak & Mart Tiisaar, were Holting Nilsson & Andersson’s opponents in the semifinals, but they had to withdraw during the match because of Tiisaar’s knee injury.

38-year-old Piik and 25-year-old Korotkov, who pleased the home fans with silver, secured their first ever world-level podium by claiming a 2-1 (21-17, 16-21, 15-9) semifinal victory over third-seeded Robin Sowa & Maximilian Just. The Germans won the third place match by forfeit and picked up their third consecutive medal on the Beach Pro Tour, after winning gold at their previous two appearances in Krakow and Messina.

Germany’s Chenoa Christ in action during the Rakvere Futures final (source: cev.eu)

Germany’s Chenoa Christ in action during the Rakvere Futures final (source: cev.eu)

Fellow Germans, 21-year-old Anna-Lena Grune and 22-year-old Chenoa Christ, who also triumphed in Messina, followed up with a back-to-back gold in Rakvere, the duo’s third gold and fourth medal on the Beach Pro Tour. The fifth-seeded team went through the tournament in Estonia on a 5-1 win-loss record. Their campaign was crowned with an impressive 2-1 (15-21, 21-14, 15-12) comeback victory over top-seeded Maryna Hladun & Tetiana Lazarenko in the final. Before that, the Germans managed a tight 2-0 (21-19, 21-18) semifinal win over Daniele Kvedaraite & Jekaterina Kovalskaja.

For the silver-medallist pairing of 31-year-old Hladun and 20-year-old Lazaranko, it was the third Beach Pro Tour podium in a row, after claiming bronze in Ios and in Baden. They also have 2023 Warsaw Futures gold in their collection. The Ukrainians reached the Rakvere final undefeated in four matches played. In their semifinal match, they delivered a 2-0 (21-18, 21-14) victory over the other German duo in the tournament, ninth-seeded Melanie Paul & Hanna-Marie Schieder.

The Rakvere Futures was Kvedaraite & Kovalskaja’s third Beach Pro Tour tournament as a team. They had never managed to qualify for the main draw, but this time they won both of their qualification matches to push further all the way to the podium with bronze. The Lithuanians won the third-place match against Paul & Schieder by forfeit.

The 2024 Rakvere Futures women’s podium (source: cev.eu)

The 2024 Rakvere Futures women’s podium (source: cev.eu)

24 men’s and 25 women’s teams representing a total of 18 different countries took part in the Rakvere Futures. The next Futures event will take place in Leuven, Belgium from July 18 to 21. Before that, Vienna, Austria will host an Elite16 event from July 9 to 14.