Norway’s Anders Mol and Christian Sorum are the new Olympic champions! On Saturday at Shiokaze Park, they won the Tokyo 2020 men’s beach volleyball final to claim a historic first Olympic medal for their country on the sand.
Mol & Sorum claim Tokyo Olympic title
Krasilnikov & Stoyanovskiy take silver, bronze goes to Cherif & Ahmed
Published 07:25, 07 Aug 2021
Reigning world champions Viacheslav Krasilnikov and Oleg Stoyanovskiy of the Russian Olympic Committee took the silver. No one from their country had made it to the beach volleyball Olympic podium before.
Cherif Younousse and Ahmed Tijan claimed the bronze, also Qatar’s first ever Olympic medal in beach volleyball.
Krasilnikov and Stoyanovskiy started the gold medal match on fire and quickly ran off with a 5-1 lead, but it did not last long. After 8-4 in ROC’s favour, Mol and Sorum hammered out six in a row to take the lead and never look back. Mol once again owned the net, especially in blocking, but it was a pulverising spike by him that put an end to the first set. Some monster blocking by Stoyanovskiy kept his team level through 11-11 in the second set. But it was Mol’s turn again to raise a wall above the net and push Norway forward on the scoreboard. In the final rallies, Sorum took the opportunities to shine in both defence and offence until a serving error by their opponents put an end to the match at 2-0 (21-17, 21-18).
“It feels unreal! We’ve been working for this so hard and for so long! It’s been our dream for so many years. Becoming the youngest Olympic champions is really a dream come true and I don’t think we really realize what we have done right now. It’s surreal!” Anders Mol (Norway)
“It’s really amazing! It’s been our dream for so long. Three years ago I took a screenshot of the Olympic gold medal from Rio and I put it on my phone and I’ve watched that medal every day since. To stand here with a gold medal, together with Anders and the rest of our team, is amazing. And also to be on the podium with ROC and Qatar is also huge for us, because we are good friends and we all work hard and push each other and where we are today is also because of each other. I’m just really happy and I can’t believe it!” Christian Sorum (Norway)
“The feeling, of course, is insane! A great deal of work was done. It was a long journey, plus there was the pandemic, which made the journey even more difficult,” Viacheslav Krasilnikov said. “For me personally, I go back to 2008, when I was at home, not in a very good condition, watching the Olympics. I realized that that was my dream, to be at the Olympic Games and conquer a medal. I worked very hard and I went to Rio already with the mindset to win a medal. I finished fourth, deservedly. Now, I have Oleg Stoyanovskiy as a teammate and our goal was to get a medal here, in Tokyo. Along the way, we became world champions, which was a great feeling. Now our dream came true. To the Norwegian boys I want to say, ‘thank you for the game; it was an amazing match!’ They were stronger than us and I would like to congratulate them!”
“We came a long way and this Olympic medal means a lot to all of us,” Oleg Stoyanovskiy added. “I never dreamed for an Olympic medal when I was younger, at 10 or 12. But it’s still amazing and I want to say ‘thank you’ to my partner, to our opponents today. They were great! They have been dominant over the last two-three years and we all have been trying to reach them. For me, this was a dream final!”
The first set of the bronze medal match between Cherif and Ahmed and Latvia’s Martins Plavins and Edgars Tocs was quite competitive through 8-8, but then the Qataris went on an 8-1 rampage which practically decided the set. The Latvians stormed into the second set on a 4-1 run, but quickly lost that edge at 5-5. A fantastic save by Ahmed, followed by a monster block by Cherif for 14-13, served as the momentum changer in the set. The Qatari team kept the pressure on to grab a 2-0 (21-12, 21-18) victory, shaped up by Ahmed with an elegant over-the-block tip for the bronze medal point.
“It was not an easy process. It’s a long process. It didn’t start now. It started in 2012. Mentally and physically, it was not easy,” Cherif said. “We had a great feeling that we were going to get something, because before the event we were announced as number one in the World Ranking. That also pushed us to play. Unluckily, we couldn’t reach the final, losing to the world champions. I think it was a good rival to lose to. Right now, it’s a really great feeling for the people of Qatar. They are really proud of us and that was the goal.”