Fortaleza, Brazil, May 1, 2016 - Writing a script that would inspire a Hollywood producer, Brazil’s young lions Oscar Brandao and Andre Loyola roared to a gold medal victory Sunday over Germany’s Jonathan Erdmann/Kay Matysik at the FIVB Fortaleza Open. The FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour event was held at Praia do Futuro in Fortaleza.
Brazil’s 22nd-seeded Oscar/Andre clawed their way past seven talented FIVB World Tour teams and in the gold medal finale, they won officially by forfeit over Germany’s third-seeded Erdmann/Matysik to earn the first FIVB World Tour gold medal. Germany’s Erdmann/Matysik won the first set 21-15 but Brazil’s Oscar/Andre seemed to be inspired by the roar of the packed stadium crowd to win the second set 21-18.
Brazil kept the heat on and jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the tiebreaker set when Germany called a time out so that Matysik could be treated for overheating. In the third set, Brazil continued to score points over an obviously fatigued German side. Not wishing to risk any serious injury after just returning from injury in its quest to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Germany retired from the match with Brazil leading 11-5. To that point the match had lasted 50 minutes.
With the victory, Oscar/Andre gave Brazil its 182nd all-time country gold medal on the FIVB World Tour as Brazil now has 547 all-time FIVB final four placements, the most all-time by any country in FIVB World Tour history.
The FIVB Fortaleza Open was the 340th all-time FIVB World Tour event and Brazil now has a 20-8 gold medal match record against Germany.
In the men’s bronze medal match, Mexico’s third-seeded Lombardo Ontiveros/Juan Virgen picked up some valuable Olympic qualifying points by defeating a friendly foe in Chile’s seventh-seeded cousins Marco Grimalt/Esteban Grimalt, winning in two sets, 2-0 (23-21, 21-17) in 40 minutes.FIVB FORTALEZA OPEN PURSE/POINTS
The gold medal teams in each gender at the FIVB Fortaleza Open will split $11,000 and 500 points, the silver $8,000 and 450 points, the bronze $6,000 and 400 points and fourth place $4,500 and 350 points. The FIVB Fortaleza Open was the fourth event in Brazil that was part of this year’s 2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. This was also the fifth of eight straight events on the FIVB World Tour as the qualification window is drawing to a close for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. GOLD MEDAL REVIEW
The match saw two sets where each team seemed to dominate one but retrospectively in the third set it was apparent that while Brazil’s Oscar/Andre were gaining momentum rapidly, Germany’s Erdmann/Matysik were starting to fade in the heat. From the start of the third set it was clear that Brazil’s Oscar/Andre had the moment, fans and home sand advantage and Germany’s Erdmann/Matysik were holding on as best they could before Matysik went down again in the heat and the match was called.
Meeting in the first FIVB World Tour gold medal match for either team, Brazil’s Oscar, 30, and Andre, 21, were playing in just their fifth FIVB World Tour event and it was their first final four appearance. Oscar/Andre won the gold medal at the CSV Continental Tour event in Ancon, Peru this season. Including their pool play win over the Germans and their gold medal victory, Brazil’s Oscar/Andre leave Fortaleza with an unblemished 7-0 match record with only one match going to three sets.
Germany’s Erdmann/Matysik were playing in their 68th international tournament with seven final four finishes and their first silver medal to go with three bronze medals and three fourth place finishes. It is their first tournament back on the tour since the FIVB Rio Grand Slam in early March. The team has been in training only while Matysik recovered from an injury.
The German duo finished in Fortaleza with a 6-2 record with the only losses coming at the hands of Brazil’s Oscar/Andre. Their first final four finish as a team was a fourth place finish at the FIVB Olsztyn Grand Slam in Poland in 2015.
The gold medal match was a rematch of the second round of pool play that saw Brazil’s Oscar/Andre upset Germany’s Erdmann/Matysik in two sets, 2-0 (21-16, 21-18) in 34 minutes.
Individually, Erdmann was in his seventh FIVB World Tour final four with three bronze medals, three fourth place finishes to go with his first silver medal. For Matysik, this was his eighth FIVB World Tour final four with four bronze medals, three fourth place finishes to go with his silver medal.
After the gold medal match, Brazil’s Oscar commented, "When I saw that he (Matysik) would no longer be able to continue I saw him fall to the ground. It is difficult to control the thoughts and everything that goes on in the head at such a time. I am very grateful to Andrew, to my team, my wife. This title is for the crowd also. Now I want to enjoy, enjoy this achievement that will be marked in the heart. Fortaleza will always be a special place for me."
Brazil’s enthusiastic young lion Andre said afterwards, "I think the biggest thrill I've ever felt in a game occurred late in the second set, when we come back from the first set loss and won the second set to go to the tie-break. The noise and sounds from the crowd gave me more energy, something unreal. Representing Brazil, which has so many good teams, it is a national pride. And to be a champion of an FIVB World Tour event within the country is even better”.BRONZE MEDAL REVIEW
In the men’s bronze medal match Sunday morning, Mexico’s Ontiveros/Virgen kept their hopes of a place in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games playing against a team they have played several times in Mexico’s third-seeded Lombardo Ontiveros/Juan Virgen.
The first set was a typical back-and-forth scoring situation that Virgen/Ontiveros closed out with a kill each. In the second, it was just as tight until near the end where Mexico capitalised on a couple of mishits by Chile to close the set and the match with a more comfortable four point margin.
For Mexico’s Ontiveros/Virgen this was their 29th FIVB World Tour event with four final four finishes including one silver medal and three bronze medals along with five fifth-place finishes. Striving like most of the teams here in Fortaleza to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games through the FIVB World Tour, Ontiveros/Virgen have two other final four finishes this season (Silver at FIVB Antalya Open, Bronze at FIVB Xiamen Open).
This was the 37th FIVB World Tour event for Chile’s Grimalt cousins, their fourth final four with two silver medals and two fourth place finishes. It was also their second final four in the 2016 FIVB World Tour as they finished in fourth place in the FIVB Antalya Open in Turkey prior to duplicating it with a fourth place finish at the FIVB Fortaleza Open. Chile’s M. Grimalt/E. Grimalt leave Fortaleza with a 5-2 record after winning their first five in the tournament.
Mexico’s Ontiveros/Virgen finish with a 6-2 record in the FIVB Fortaleza Open with their bronze medal victory. The bronze medal comes after five consecutive ninth place finishes in this year’s FIVB World Tour.
In the head-to-head series record, Mexico’s Ontiveros/Virgen increased their lead with a 4-0 FIVB World Tour record over the Chilean cousins and to 6-0 overall including their wins in the 2015 Pan Am Games semifinal and in pool play at the 2012 Beach Volleyball World Cup Olympic Qualification tournament.
Obviously happy after their bronze medal victory, Mexico’s Ontiveros, 32, said, “We came here wanting Olympic points and we got some and that’s good. Unfortunately we missed the gold medal match opportunity, but we are very pleased with a bronze medal. We always have a tough time with the Grimalts, they are great competitors. Today we changed some things up in the second set to counter what they were trying to do in the first set when they almost beat us. In the second set, we were more comfortable and with the extra motivation of our Olympic dream won this one in two sets.”ON THE HORIZON
With placement points for the FIVB Olympic Rankings for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games continuing, the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour has resumed with events over eight straight weeks through the end of May. In all, Brazil is hosting five international events in 2016. In addition to Maceió, Rio and Vitoria and Fortaleza and the Brazil events conclude with the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (August 5-21).
The FIVB World Tour heads to Europe for the FIVB Fortaleza Open. Up first will be the FIVB Sochi Open (May 3-8) in Russia followed by the FIVB Antalya Open in Turkey (May 11-15). The tour then visits the United States for the FIVB Cincinnati Open (May 17-22) and then returns to Russia for the FIVB Moscow Grand Slam (May 24-29).