BEACH VOLLEYBALL: Russians underscore world title with World Cup Final win

World Cup Final winners Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Viacheslav Krasilnikov (RUS) (Photo: FIVB)

Despite winning the 2019 World Championship, the spotlight was not on Russia’s Viacheslav Krasilnikov and Oleg Stoyanovskiy going into the FIVB World Cup Final in Rome (ITA). Instead, it was on the Norwegian pair of Anders Mol and Christian Sorum, who were 61-4 together and won the Worlds bronze.

The duos did not face each other at the Worlds, but this time they did match up in the semifinals. And the Norwegians won the first set, 21-18. But the Russians came back in the second set with their own 21-18 victory and then ran through the third set to 15-9 and advance to the title match.

That turned out to be a rematch of the World Championships final, with Germany’s Julius Thole and Clemens Wickler. And as in Hamburg, the Russians triumphed, this time by 21-16 and 21-16.

“We have played them in two finals before and we knew they were a really good team,” said the 22-year-old Stoyanovskiy. “They are a great side out team, and they served really well in this tournament. We played really well overall but the key for us was to keep our side out solid.”

The Russians will split $40,000 for winning and the Germans will receive $32,000 as their consolation prize. Mol and Sorum won the bronze medal vs. Americans Jake Gibb and Taylor Crabb in straight sets.

The women’s final showed that Rio 2016 gold medalist Laura Ludwig is in the hunt for a repeat next year in Tokyo. After taking a year off for maternity, her partner – Kira Walkenhorst – retired due to injuries. So Ludwig found a new partner in Margareta Kozuch and the pair won the World Cup Final over the capable Brazilians, Agatha Bednarczuk and Duda Lisboa, 21-19, 21-17.

It’s the third World Cup Final title for Ludwig, who won previously in 2016 and 2017 before taking a year off. “Every victory is special on its own way,” said Ludwig. “This one, after a long break, it really feels like a comeback. And to be with Maggie for the first time in a big final and see her playing the way she did and trusting what we are doing, it’s unbelievable. She’s getting calmer on the court and it’s definitely great that she managed to do it in such an important match.”

Brazil took the bronze as well, with Ana Patricia and Rebecca edging Swiss Joana Heidrich and Anouk Verde-Depre in three sets. Summaries:

FIVB World Tour Final
Rome (ITA) ~ 4-8 September 2019
(Full results here)

Men: 1. Viacheslav Krasilnikov/Oleg Stoyanovskiy (RUS); 2. Julius Thole/Clemens Wickler (GER); 3. Anders Mol/Christian Sorum (NOR); 4. Jacob Gibb/Taylor Crabb (USA). Third: Mol/Sorum d. Gibb/Crabb, 2-0. Final: Krasilnikov/Stoyanovskiy d. Thole/Wickler, 2-0 (21-16, 21-16).

Women: 1. Laura Ludwig/Margareta Kozuch (GER); 2. Agatha Bednarczuk/Duda Lisboa (BRA); 3. Ana Patricia Silva Ramos/Rebecca Cavalcanti (BRA); 4. Joana Heidrich/Anouk Verge-Depre (SUI). Third: Ana Patricia/Rebacca d. Heidrich/Verge-Depre, 2-1. Final: Ludwig/Kozuch d. Agatha/Duda, 2-0 (21-19, 21-17).

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