Latvia’s Kristians Fokerots and Gustavs Auzins and Ukraine’s Yeva Serdiuk and Daria Romaniuk triumphed at the FIVB Beach Volleyball U19 World Championships 2022 in Dilikli, Türkiye. The 17-year-old Fokerots and Auzins won the trophy in an all-Latvian final against compatriots Olivers Bulgacs and Davis Teteris crowning a run of seven consecutive victories. Serdiuk and Romaniuk were even more consistent on the way to the gold medals, winning their seven matches in straight sets.
Year in Review: Ukraine and Latvia claim U19 beach world titles in Türkiye
Serdiuk & Romaniuk win women's final, Fokerots & Auzins come out on top of all-Latvian men's final
Published 08:00, 31 Dec 2022
After topping the standings in Pool C, the Ukrainian duo of 18-year-old players shut out Germany’s Annika Berndt and Janne Uhl in the round of 16 and Brazil’s Carol Sallaberry and Julhia Perandre in the quarterfinals. In the tournament epilogue, Serdiuk and Romaniuk cruised to yet another two speedy victories, both over two American duos. First, in the semifinals, they produced a 2-0 (21-15, 21-14) sweep of Sophie Kubiak and Bailey Showalter and then, in the gold medal match, the Ukrainians defeated Myriah Massey and Ashley Pater by 2-0 (21-17, 21-18).
It was the second international medal for Serdiuk and Romaniuk, after their 2021 CEV U18 European Championship silver. It was also Ukraine’s second medal in the history of the women’s U19 World Championships, after Anhelina Khmil and Tetiana Lazarenko finished third in 2021.
Massey and Pater were also on a perfect run until the last competition day. The Americans topped Pool B after three 2-0 wins and then shut out Austria’s Lia Berger and Emma Hohenauer in the round of 16 and Maren de Jong and Noa Sonneville of the Netherlands in the quarterfinals. In a very competitive semifinal battle, Massey and Pater dropped a set to Canada’s Emma Glagau and Ruby Sorra, but emerged with a 2-1 (27-25, 17-21, 17-15) victory to advance to the final, securing their first international podium. Their silver was USA’s fifth medal in the 20-year history of the competition.
Glagau and Sorra mastered a 2-0 (21-10, 21-16) shutout of Kubiak and Showalter to celebrate with bronze, the pair’s second international medal, after a NORCECA Continental Tour silver earlier in the year. It was also Canada’s second podium in the competition, after Megan McNamara and Nicole McNamara’s 2014 bronze. Glagau and Sorra’s journey to the final four included three wins in Pool D, with a single set lost along the way, a round of 16 victory over China’s Tong Yu and Kaiyue Jiang and a come-from-behind quarterfinal success against Poland’s Malgorzata Ciezkowska and Urszula Lunio.
In the men’s tournament, Fokerots and Auzins started their campaign by winning all three of their Pool B matches. In the decider for the first place in the pool standings, the Latvians managed a narrow 2-1 (29-22, 21-15, 22-20) upset of defending champions Arthur Canet and Teo Rotar of France. In the direct elimination phase, Fokerots and Auzins knocked out Martin Etcheberry and Maximiliano Cordova de Halleux of Chile in straight sets and Timo Hammarberg and Tim Berger of Austria in three sets to reach the final four. The aspiring Latvians went on to claim a 2-1 (21-17, 20-22, 15-11) victory in their semifinal against Italy’s Andrea Armellini and Raoul Acerbi, before shutting out compatriots Bulgacs and Teteris by 2-0 (21-16, 21-17) to add the world crown to the European U18 title they had claimed just two weeks earlier.
“Crazy things happen! It’s been a crazy three weeks and I am thankful to everyone who supported us all along! And of course, I am proud of the second Latvian team as well. Who would have thought that we would meet in the gold final match at the World Championship!” Kristians Fokerots (Latvia), 2022 U19 world champion
Bulgacs and Teteris, on the other hand, won as many as nine consecutive matches in Dilikli before succumbing to Fokerots and Auzins in the final. The 18-year-old Latvians persevered through three qualification matches, winning two of them in tie-breaker sets. Then, in the main draw, they cruised through three Pool A games without dropping a single set, overcame the Czech Republic’s Krystof Jan Oliva and David Westphal in the round of 16 after an extended tie-breaker, swept Poland’s Aleksander Czachorowski and Filip Lejawa in the quarterfinals, and dethroned Canet and Rotar in a 2-1 (21-12, 14-21, 15-7) semifinal to celebrate their first international podium.
These were Latvia’s first gold and silver medals in the history of the men’s U19 World Championships. Previously, the Baltic country had won two bronzes, in 2004 and 2016.
After finishing Pool B runners-up to champions-to-be Fokerots and Auzins, Canet and Rotar cruised through the first three knockout rounds without losing any sets. They shut out Türkiye’s Sacit Kurt and Ahmet Can Tur in the round of 24, Sweden’s Jacob Holting Nilsson and Erik Ask in the round of 16, and Brazil’s Pedro Sousa and Henrique Camboim in the quarterfinals. After losing their semifinal to Bulgacs and Teteris, the French pair recovered with a 2-0 (21-16, 22-20) victory over Armellini and Acerbi in the bronze medal match to earn their country’s second U19 world medal, after the gold the same pair snatched in 2021. Earlier in 2022, Canet and Rotar also took a U20 European Championship silver and a Montpellier Futures silver on the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour.
The 17th edition of the U19 World Championship took place on Türkiye’s Aegean coast from September 14 through 18 with the participation of 96 teams (48 per gender), representing 43 different countries from all five continental confederations.