Norway’s Anders Mol and Christian Sorum triumphed on top of the podium at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Finals in Cagliari on Sunday and became the single most decorated European team in the history of the World Tour with 14 gold medals to their name. The Vikings are also only the second men’s duo to win the World Tour Finals twice.
The silver went to Czechia’s Ondrej Perusic and David Schweiner. It was the seventh World Tour medal in their collection.
Netherlands’ Christiaan Varenhorst and Steven van de Velde completed the podium. It was the pair’s third medal (all bronze) on the World Tour.
The gold medal match offered a gigantic battle between two very strong teams, who knew well when to use power and when to use elegance, delivering a spectacular beach volleyball show for the viewers. In both sets, Mol and Sorum had to come from behind to win the match. In set won, Perusic and Schweiner had a double match point, but the Norwegians hammered four in row until Sorum spiked the winner. The Czechs were not able to hold on to the four-point lead they had at 15-11 in the second set, but once again were the first to reach set point. And once again, the Norwegians turned things around to close the match on a monster block by Mol for the winning point and a 2-0 (22-20, 23-21) victory.
“It’s just amazing! The final is always difficult to play and the Czech guys are a good team. They played really strong the whole tournament and deserve to be here. It was a great final and I’m just super happy to have won it,” Christian Sorum told Volleyball World.
“Yes, luckily we were on top in the end. The Czech guys played such a great tournament! They’ve been almost unbeatable. So we knew we really had to bring our best game today,” added Anders Mol. “We are tired, of course. It’s been a long season and now we can take a well-deserved vacation and then get ready for the new Tour. We’re super excited about that!”
The bronze medal match started really well for Varenhorst and Van de Velde. Halfway through the first set, they enjoyed a five-point lead over Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo. However, inspired by the cheers from the stands, the Italians battled back to level the score and eventually reach the first set point. The Dutchmen kept their cool, pushed it to overtime and regained control to win it. With the first rally of the second set, Varenhorst and Van de Velde took the lead and never let go. The Italians battled on, but this time they were not able to catch up, as the Dutchmen closed the match at 2-0 (23-21, 21-17).
“It’s really great! We are really happy!” Van de Velde exclaimed. “After the semifinal, leading in the second set and having some issues, to come back like this in the last game - we’re really happy! I think we had a really good performance at this tournament as a whole. We heard three weeks ago we could be part of it. It was great! So we had three weeks to prepare when we were already on our holidays, so it’s been beyond the expectations that we could perform at this level again this quickly. Especially after missing Tokyo and having some downtime, it’s good for us to be like this as a team again.”
FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Finals
Olympic Games Tokyo 2020