Huerta brothers claim first Beach Pro Tour gold

Teams from Germany and China earn Madrid Futures silver and bronze

Top-seeded Javier Huerta and Alejandro Huerta won the trophy at this year’s first Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Futures event held in Europe.

The Spanish brothers topped the podium at the men’s Madrid Futures on Sunday and pocketed their first-ever gold medals from a world-level tournament. Germany’s Paul Henning and Sven Winter, seeded fourth in the 16 team main draw bracket, took silver, while the bronze went to Chinese qualifiers Li Jie and Wang Yanwei.

Huerta and Huerta started the tournament with a 2-0 (21-13, 21-13) shutout of Li and Wang in a Pool A match, but then lost to Germany’s Maximilian Just and Lui Wust by 2-0 (21-18, 21-18) for the first place in the pool. That loss meant that they had to go through the eighthfinal round, in which they produced a 2-0 (21-15, 21-16) win over fellow Spaniards Alvaro Viera and Antonio Saucedo. In the quarterfinals, 26-year-old Javier and 25-year-old Alejandro produced a 2-0 (21-13, 23-21) sweep of Hungary’s Artur Hajos and Bence Attila Streli and followed up with another 2-0 (21-19, 21-14) over Li and Wang in the semifinals.

In the big final, Henning and Winter prevailed in the first set, but the home team fought back to win the match 2-1 (17-21, 21-16, 15-9) and celebrate the gold medals.

“We need to thank the fans for coming here and supporting us,” Javier Huerta said. “It felt great for us to play at home and feel the energy of the fans and our family and friends. We’re really excited that we managed to win and we want to thank the organisers for the great work they did.”

Last year, Henning and Winter gave a number of Challenge and Elite16 events a try, but managed to push through the qualifiers only once, in their last attempt at October’s second Dubai tournament. This year, the Germans started with a silver medal at the Satun Futures in Thailand last month and now made it two for two in Madrid. They won four hard-fought games in a row to reach the final, starting with a tight 2-0 (23-21, 27-25) victory over Viera and Saucedo. In the Pool D final, Henning and Winter came back from a set down to take a 2-1 (17-21, 23-21, 15-13) win over Norway’s Jo Sunde and Markus Mol, and persisted with playing tie-breakers through the end. The Germans managed a 2-1 (21-17, 9-21, 15-6) quarterfinal win over Latvia’s Ardis Bedritis and Arturs Rinkevics and a 2-1 (21-12, 15-21, 15-12) semifinal win over fellow Germans Just and Wust.

To win their first ever world-level medal, both individually and as a team, Li and Wang started the tournament in Madrid as the seventh-seeded team in the qualification bracket. Two wins later, they found themselves in the main draw, seeded 16th, but they battled on all the way to the podium. After losing their first pool match to the Huerta brothers, Li and Wang mastered a 2-0 (21-17, 21-17) shutout of compatriots Li Zhuoxin and Liu Chuanyong. In the eighthfinals, they managed another straight-set victory, 2-0 (21-12, 26-24) over Spain’s Roberto Sanfelix and Daniel Moreno. To advance to the semifinals, they delivered a 2-1 (24-22, 17-21, 15-13) upset of second-seeded Jacob Brinck and Kristoffer Abell of Denmark. After suffering their second defeat of the tournament, again at the hands of the champions-to-be, Li and Wang bounced back with a 2-0 (21-18, 21-16) shutout of Just and Wust in the bronze medal match.

The podium at the men’s Futures tournament in Madrid (Photo credits:

Royal Spanish Volleyball Federation President Agustin Martin Santos presented the gold medals to the tournament winners.

A total of 28 men’s teams from 17 different countries in Europe, Asia and South America took part in the tournament.

Beach Pro Tour 2023 full event schedule