With the World Championships coming up quickly at the end of the month, the Warsaw (POL) four-star was a good spot to show readiness.
And despite plenty of problems, the Brazilian pair of Evandro Goncalves and Oscar Bruno Schmidt showed grit and experience in winning over the red-hot Norwegian pair of Anders Mol and Christian Sorum.
The Norwegians had won three straight four-star tournaments and seemed invincible, as they rode through the main draw to the final. But the Brazilian duo – Bruno Schmidt an Olympic gold medalist from 2016 and Evandro half of the 2017 World Championships winners – came back from one set down to eke out a 15-12 win in the decisive third set.
“This tournament was important for us, because I came here not in my best condition,” Bruno Schmidt said afterwards. “I had stomach problems, I had to take IV therapy to recover, I called for medical time-outs in three matches, but it was important that I received support from Evandro in the hard moments, especially mentally.
“It was not easy, so to have a finish like that at such a high-level tournament is very satisfying. I also noticed that the Norwegians were also very tired after reaching the finals in so many tournaments, but we knew it was going to be a tough battle. Evandro and I tried to push each other as much as possible. He was a monster in this tournament and I give him all the credit. He serves with power from the beginning to the end, and especially in this final, in the second set. I was so close to giving up, but Evandro pushed me hard to keep going.”
Both pairs will need rest before the Worlds start on 28 June in Hamburg.
In the women’s division, Australians Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar won their fifth FIVB World Tour tournament together and first of the season against surprise American finalists Emily Stockman and Kelley Larsen.
Both defeated Brazilian pairs in the semis, but the Aussies were too experienced for the U.S. pair and overcame a 20-18 deficit in the first set to win by 22-20, then 21-17 in the second set. It was the second World Tour medal for Stockman and Larsen and bettered the bronze they won last season. Summaries:
FIVB World Tour/Poland Open
Warsaw (POL) ~ 12-16 June 2019
(Full results here)
Men: 1. Evandro Goncalves/Oscar Bruno Schmidt (BRA); 2. Anders Mol/Christian Sorum (NOR); 3. Konstantin Semenov/Ilya Leshukov (RUS); 4. Viacheslav Krasilnikov/Oleg Stoyanovskiy (RUS). Semis: Evandro/Bruno Schmidt d. Semenov/Lushkov, 2-0; Mol/Sorum d. Krasilnikov/Stoyanovskiy, 2-1. Third: Semenov/Lushkov d. Krasilnikov/Stoyanovskiy, 2-1. Final: Evandro/Bruno Schmidt d. Mol/Sorum, 2-1 (11-21, 21-17, 15-12).
Women: 1. Taliqua Clancy/Mariafe Artacho del Solar (AUS); 2. Emily Stockman/Kelley Larsen (USA); 3. Agatha Bednarczuk/Duda Lisboa (BRA) and Maria Antonelli/Carol Solberg (BRA). Semis: Clancy/Artacho del Solar d. Maria Antonelli/Carol, 2-0; Stockman/Larsen d. Agatha/Duda, 2-0. Third: Agatha/Duda d. Maria Antonelli/Carol, 2-0. Final: Clancy/Artacho del Solar d. Stockman/Larsen, 2-0 (22-20, 21-17).