2017 Review: Vienna celebrates spectacular Beach Volleyball World Championships
Evandro Gonçalves and Andre Loyola claimed gold by defeating Austrians Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst
Quick links - FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships Vienna 2017 presented by A1:
Match schedule and results
Teams - Men
Teams - Women
From a sporting perspective, a new generation of players was embodied by Andre Loyola who, at just 22 years of age, was crowned the youngest world champion in the history of the game. Andre, who could be a force to be reckoned with in the beach volleyball world for many years to come, won the title alongside his Brazilian partner Evandro Gonçalves.
The World Championships also offered the kind of entertainment that is to make volleyball the number one family sport in the world in the future. A range of innovations also meant that for the first time ever, live data direct from the players enabled beach volleyball fans watching the gripping final weekend of the world’s biggest beach volleyball tournament to experience the drama in even greater detail.
Arguably the most spectacular moment of the tournament, however, came in the men’s final, which featured two local favourites in Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst, who were cheered on frenetically by the Austrian fans.
“I was scared when I first entered the court,” Andre acknowledged. “We had played on centre court before, but this time it was so loud that we could barely talk to each other and that annoyed us a little bit in the beginning. We settled down, regained our focus and managed to win. It was definitely the most amazing experience I’ve ever had on a beach volleyball court.”
That obviously had something to do with the fact that he and his partner Evandro ultimately triumphed 2-0 (23-21, 22-20) in the exciting final. For the seventh time, a men’s team from Brazil climbed onto the top step of the podium at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships. Andre watched the event unfold on TV when Alison Cerutti and Bruno Schmidt won the 2015 World Championships event in The Hague, Netherlands.
“I used to practice with them at the time and I watched them play the gold medal match and also Evandro win bronze,” he said. “I cheered for them and I thought that I would love to have the same feeling one day. At the time, I had only played on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour once, so it was a long shot for me. I couldn’t imagine that I would be a world champion myself only two years later.”
His partner Evandro played an important role in the victory. In the gold medal match against Austrians Doppler and Horst, he once again showcased his impressive serving skills when the hosts led the first set 20-17, scoring three points in a row to save the set.
“I look at him like a super hero now,” Andre joked. “Honestly, I had never seen anything like that before. Evandro was the difference for us, not only in the final match but through the entire tournament.” Evandro set a new record with 42 service winners over the course of the World Championship. As a reward for his efforts, he was able to share the $60,000 in prize money with the youngest world champion ever.
Olympic champions from Rio, Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst took home a cheque for exactly the same amount following an equally impressive performance in the women’s competition. After various injury problems, they had come into the tournament as outsiders. In the end, however, it was the German pair who were left celebrating their first World Championship title.
And they made history again in the process: Ludwig, who was named the Smart Most Valuable Player for the Tournament, and Walkenhorst also became the first women’s team from a European nation to win a gold medal at the FIVB World Championships. Women’s pairs from Brazil (five times), the United States (four times) and China (once) had topped the podium at the previous 10 editions of the event.
“This success was just awesome – just like the atmosphere in Vienna,” said Ludwig. The Germans defeated Lauren Fendrick and April Ross of the United States 2-1 (19-21, 21-13, 15-9) in the final, after both pairs had marched through the tournament with seven wins and no defeats. Bronze went to top seeds Talita Antunes and Larissa Franca of Brazil.
Over the course of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships Vienna 2017 presented by A1, a total of 96 men’s and women’s teams from 40 countries put on an incredible show. For more information, results and statistics, visit the competition website here:
Statistics, statistics, statistics, part 1
Statistics, statistics, statistics, part 2
Statistics, statistics, statistics, part 3
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