Italy had teams in the men’s and women’s finals at the fourth FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour one-star event in Sofia, but had to settle for silver in both genders as duos from Estonia and the Netherlands claimed the titles of the tournament on Sunday.
Estonians Heleene Hollas and Liisa Soomets and Dutch Dirk Boehle and Mart van Werkhoven, the teams that stood at the top of the podium at the Sofia Beach Club, have both had a long and successful weekend in Bulgaria, as they started the event in Thursday’s qualifier.
The 24-year-old Hollas and Soomets secured their first gold medals on the World Tour after they defeated Italians Margherita Bianchin, who had won the third event in Sofia two weeks ago, and Chiara They in straight sets (21-17, 21-18).
Italy also took bronze among the women with the duo of Claudia Scampoli, another winner of the previous Sofia event, and Sara Breidenbach, who downed Polish Jagoda Gruszczynska and Kinga Legieta also in two sets (21-16, 21-14).
Earlier, in the semifinals, Bianchin and They prevailed in the all-Italian duel against Scampoli and Breidenbach in three sets (8-21, 21-14, 15-12) while Hollas and Soomets eliminated the Poles in two (21-11, 21-14).
In the men’s final, the 28-year-old Boehle and the 29-year-old van Werkhoven needed all three sets (21-12, 10-21, 16-14) to overcome Italians Gianluca dal Corso and Tobia Marchetto to come out on top and secure the title.
Italy also claimed the bronze medal among the men as Andrea Abbiati and Tiziano Andreatta topped Russians Dmitrii Veretiuk and Artem Yarzutkin also in a tie-breaker (29-31, 21-18, 15-9) to step on the podium.
The eventual champions dominated the Russians in a straight-set (21-13, 21-12) victory in the semifinals while Dal Corso and Marchetto came out on top of fellow Italians Abbiati and Andreatta after three sets (21-11, 20-22, 15-9).
FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour - Sofia Beach Open 4
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