Andre and Evandro won the tournament without dropping any sets
Itapema, Brazil, May 20, 2018 – World champions Evandro Goncalves and Andre Loyola completed a week of huge success for Brazilian beach volleyball as the reigning world champions topped the podium at the $300,000 Itapema Open, the fourth FIVB World Tour event of the 2017/2018 season.
Brazil also won the women’s tournament in Itapema with Agatha Bednarczuk/Duda Lisboa and the country took home the gold medals in both genders for the 59th time in World Tour’s history, including ten in Brazilian soil. The last time it happened was in last year’s Rio Open, when Agatha and Duda were joined by Alison Cerutti and Bruno Schmidt.
In the gold medal match of the Itapema Open, Evandro and Andre, who will share $20,000 in prize, controlled Norwegian up-and-comers Christian Sorum and Anders Mol to get a 2-0 (21-18, 21-16) victory that granted them their second international gold medal – the first was last year’s FIVB World Championships.
“They are very young players and, despite of all their talent, there’s obviously some pressure when you play your first final,” Andre said. “We had a good strategy and it worked. We feel very comfortable here in Itapema. We played here in the Brazilian Tour a few months ago and we also won, so this place is certainly becoming special for us. We hope we can come back more times.”
Andre Loyola spikes against the Norwegian block in the gold medal match
It was the second medal won by the team in the season as Evandro and Andre had collected the silver in the Huntington Beach Open two weeks ago. The Brazilians’ goal is to keep the same level of results during the entire season.
“Consistency is the most important word for us now,” Evandro added. “We’re pleased by what we did over these past weeks, but we want to keep doing it all year-long as our goal is to win the World Tour again. It was the first time for me winning an international event in Brazil and it was fantastic.”
The young Sorum, 22, and Mol, 20, also lived special moments in Itapema as the Norwegians played their first-ever World Tour final. Despite of the setback in the final, the Europeans were proud of their performances in the tournament and excited about their next steps.
“It was amazing, it couldn’t have been better with all the audience around us,” Mol remarked. “It was a huge experience for us to go through it here in Brazil. I wish we had played a little bit better in the final, but playing in a gold medal match in a four or five-star was our main goal for the year and we accomplished it. We know that whenever it happens again we’ll be better prepared.”
Kantor and Losiak keep tradition in Brazil
Poland's Bartosz Losiak and Piotr Kantor won medals in Brazil for the third straight season
In the bronze medal match, Kantor and Losiak rebounded from a semifinal loss to Evandro and Andre and prevailed over other Brazilian team, the one of Guto Carvalhaes and Vitor Felipe, in two sets (21-19, 21-17) to win their second medal in the season after a silver in the Hague in January.
“In the end, getting a medal is always good,” Losiak commented. “Of course we wanted something more, but we played poorly in the semifinals and against the world champions it wouldn’t work. It’s an important medal for us because it shows we’re progressing.”
The victory sustained a positive tradition the Polish have created in Brazil, the one of always winning medals in the country. It was the fourth medal won by them in Brazilian soil and the third in straight seasons, following a gold in 2016 and a bronze in 2017.
Kantor and Losiak have now 11 World Tour medals together – one gold, five silver, five bronze – and four of them were won in Brazil.
“Playing in Brazil has gone very well for us lately,” the defender added. “I hope we can have more tournaments to play here.”