Slovenian triumph in Montpellier

 

Jan Pokersnik parades towards the honours podium

Montpellier, France, September 9, 2017 – Nejc Zemljak and Jan Pokersnik climbed on top of the podium at the men-only one-star tournament in Montpellier. For the Slovenian pair this is the first ever medal on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour.


Czech Republic’s Ondrej Perusic and David Schweiner and France’s Youssef Krou and Quincy Aye completed the top three of the event that took place at the Helios Theatre of the Odysseum Commercial Centre on France’s southern coast.


At the end of another competition day packed with three-set battles, Zemljak and Pokersnik went through the gold medal match in just two sets. Ondrej Perusic and David Schweiner made them work for it in the first set, but in the second the Slovenian team dominated on the way to the 2-0 (26-24, 21-14) final result. For the Czech duo, this silver is the first World Tour podium finish as well.


Before that, Krou and Aye made sure the home crowd had something to cheer about during the medal ceremony by winning the third place match with a 2-1 (21-16, 18-21, 15-12) final score against Serbia’s Lazar Kolaric and Djordje Klasnic. The Serbian pair failed to improve on their best World Tour finish so far – a fourth place at the one-star tournament in Langkawi.


The last competition day in Monpellier made a promising start with the two semifinal matches, both resolved with tie-breakers. Zemljak and Pokersnik persevered through the first semifinal to prevail over Kolaric and Klasnic. In a 55-minute battle that proved to be the longest lasting match of the entire tournament, the Slovenes claimed a 2-1 (19-21, 21-17, 15-11) victory.


In the second semifinal, Krou and Aye managed to come back from a set down to tie the score against Perusic and Schweiner, but the Czechs proved stronger in the crucial tie-breaker set to decide the 2-1 (21-9, 18-21, 15-12) victory.