First World Championships highlight this week in World Tour history
Twenty-three years ago today, Brazilians (left to right) Jackie Silva, Rogerio 'Para' Ferreira, Guilherme Marques and Sandra Pires captured the gold medals at the 1997 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Los Angeles.
Lausanne, Switzerland, September 13, 2020 - A Brazilian sweep of the gold medals at the first-recognized FIVB World Championships of beach volleyball highlights this week in history as Rogerio 'Para' Ferreira/Guilherme Marques and Sandra Pires/Jackie Silva topped the podiums in Los Angeles.
Played on the campus of the University of California and located eight miles from where the beach volleyball competition will be played at the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games, the Brazilian teams defeated tandems from the United States to win the gold medals today (September 13) as the event marked the only World Tour tournament where the bronze medal matches were not played.
Para and Guilherme completed the gold medal sweep for Brazil by posting a 2-1 (5-12, 12-8, 12-10) side-out scoring win in 90 minutes over Canyon Ceman and Mike Whitmarsh. A year earlier, Whitmarsh claimed the gold medal at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games.
Sandra and Jackie validated their Atlanta 1996 Summer Games gold medal success by posting a 2-1 (12-11, 1-12, 12-10) victory in 89 minutes over Lisa Arce and Holly McPeak. In the women's semifinals, Sandra and Jackie defeated compatriots Shelda Bede and Adriana Behar, who rebounded to win the women's World Championships in 1999 and 2001 in France and Austria, respectively.
The September 13-19 time period also saw the gold medal teams (Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst of Germany and Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt of Brazil) from the Rio Olympic Games close out the 2016 FIVB World Tour season by winning the circuit's Finals on September 18 in Toronto, Canada.
2016 Rio Olympic and World Tour gold medal winners (left to right) Kira Walkenhorst, Laura Ludwig, Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt with the Toronto skyline in the background.
Two Age-Category World Championships were also held during the September 13-19 timeframe with American, Brazilian, Canadian and Spanish teams topping the podiums at events in 2004 (Porto Santo, Portugal) and 2010 (Alanya, Turkey).
At the 2010 event in Turkey, Summer Ross became the first athlete to win both the Under-21 and Under-19 World Championships in the same season as she and Tara Roenicke defeated over Marta Menegatti and Viktoria Orsi Toth of Italy in the gold medal match on September 19. On August 1 at Porto, Portugal, Ross and Jane Croson secured the Under-19 crown by defeating Ekaterina Karapischenko and Maria Ushkova of Russia in the finals.
Television interviews for Tara Roenicke (left) and Summer Ross at the 2010 Under-21 World Championships in Turkey.
Two Olympians celebrate birthdays this week - Spain's Adrian Gavira (33 on Thursday) and Japan's Kentaro Asahi (45 on Saturday). Gavira placed ninth at both the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Summer Games with Pablo Herrera. The Spaniards were eliminated both times by Brazilians pairs, including Alison and Bruno on Copacabana in August 2016.
Asahi placed ninth and 19th at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympics, respectively, with Katsuhiro Shiratori. The Japanese pair lost a London pool play match to Gavira and Herrera in Asahi's final FIVB-sanctioned event. Shiratori (139 events) and Asahi (97) rank 1-2 for Japanese men in FIVB events played since the start of the international circuit in February 1987.
Japan's Kentaro Asahi (right) celebrates a point at the London 2012 Olympics against Adrian Gavira (centre) and Pablo Herrera of Spain.
Here are the gold medal winners of FIVB events during the September 13-19 timeframe.
In 1997, Para and Guilherme won the FIVB World Championships in Los Angeles. It was the third of seven FIVB World Tour wins for the team.
In 1997, Sandra and Jackie won the FIVB World Championships at Los Angeles. It was the 12th and final FIVB World Tour win for the team.
In 1998, Jose Loiola and Emanuel Rego of Brazil won the Alanya Open. It was the fourth of 15 FIVB World Tour wins for the team.
In 2009, Juliana Felisberta and Larissa Franca of Brazil won the Barcelona Open. It was the 29th of 45 FIVB World Tour wins for the team.
In 2015, Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins of Latvia won the Sochi Open. It was the sixth of 13 FIVB World Tour wins for the team.
In 2015, Menegatti and Orsi Toth won the Sochi Open. It was the first of two FIVB World Tour wins for the team.
Marta Menegatti (left) and Viktoria Orsi Toth of Italy celebrate their Sochi gold medal win.
In 2001, Tande Ramos and Emanuel won the Mallorca Open. It was the fourth of six FIVB World Tour wins for the team.
In 2018, Jingzhe Wang and Shuhui Wen of China won the Zhongwei Open. It was the first of five FIVB World Tour wins for the team.
The Zhongwei podium featuring the presenters and medal winners from China and Brazil.
In 1995, McPeak and Nancy Reno won the Bali Open. It was the fifth of seven FIVB World Tour wins for the team.
In 1995, Roberto Lopes and Franco Neto of Brazil won the Fortaleza Open. It was the 10th of 13 FIVB World Tour wins for the team.
In 2006, Juliana and Larissa won the Porto Santo Open. It was the 13th of 45 FIVB World Tour wins for the team.
Brazilian rivals Emanuel Rego (left) and Franco Neto won FIVB World Tour events this week.
In 2004, Taiana Lima and Carolina Salgado of Brazil won the FIVB Under-21 World Championships in Porto Santo, Portugal. It was the first and only FIVB win for the team.
In 2005, Talita Antunes and Renata Ribeiro of Brazil won the Bali Open. It was the second of five FIVB World Tour wins for the team.
In 2016, Alison and Bruno won the FIVB World Tour Finals in Toronto. It was the 11th of 12 FIVB World Tour wins for the team.
In 2016, Ludwig and Walkenhorst won the FIVB World Tour Finals in Toronto. It was the ninth of 11 FIVB World Tour wins for the team.
In 2004, Miguel de Amo and Inocencio Lario of Spain won the FIVB Under-21 World Championships Porto Santo. It was the first and only FIVB win for the team.
In 2010, Garrett May and Sam Schachter of Canada won the FIVB Under-21 World Championships in Alanya. It was the first and only FIVB win for the team.
In 2010, Roenicke and Ross won the FIVB Under-21 World Championships in Alanya. It was the first and only FIVB win for the team.
Canadian champions Sam Schachter (left) and Garrett May