Gstaad, Switzerland, July 10, 2016 - With less than four weeks before the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Brazilian Beach Volleyball players made another “major” statement here Sunday as Evandro Goncalves and Pedro Solberg captured the South American country’s second gold medal in a two-day period by defeating Americans Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena in the men’s title match at the US$800,000 Gstaad Major.
Evandro and Pedro’s 2-0 (24-22, 21-16) gold medal win in 41-minutes over Dalhausser and Lucena followed in the same footstep as the Brazilians’ women team of Talita Antunes and Larissa Franca, who posted a 2-0 (21-18, 21-14) podium-topping win Saturday over Americans April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings. Both Brazilians teams collected $57,000 first-place checks.
With the back-to-back victories on the Swiss Alps village center court of their chief Beach Volleyball rivals, Evandro/Pedro and Talita/Larissa posted Brazil’s 56th “sweep” of a FIVB World Tour podium at the same event. Only the United States (14 times), China (1) and Russia (1) have accomplish feat since the start of FIVB-sanctioned events for women in 1992.
The Brazilian gold medal win also avenged a title match setback to Dalhausser and Lucena at the Maceio Open in late February on Brazilian sand. Sunday’s finale was the 64th-time the two countries vied for a FIVB World Tour gold medal with Brazil now winning 33 of the meetings. On the women’s side, the two countries have met 94 times for a gold medal with the Brazilians hold a 52-42 advantage.
The Gstaad Major gold medal was the 16th for Pedro on the FIVB World Tour and his second with Evandro as the Brazilians won for the first-time last June at the Stavanger Major in Norway. Evandro has three FIVB World Tour gold medals with his first title being with Vitor Felipe at the 2013 Berlin stop.
Despite placing second to share the $43,000 second-place prize, Dalhausser and Lucena moved into first-place on the 2015-2016 FIVB World Tour ranking list by 10 points ahead of Adrian Carambula/Alex Ranghieri of Italy (5,070 to 5,060). Evandro and Pedro are ranked ninth with 3,890 points.
Dalhausser and Lucena advanced to their 10th FIVB World Tour gold medal match in 17 starts together with a 2-0 (21-18, 21-16) semi-final win in 36 minutes over sixth-seeded Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins of Latvia. It was the Americans’ third win in four FIVB World Tour matches over Latvians.
To reach their first final in six FIVB World Tour events, Evandro and Pedro posted a 2-0 (21-13, 21-18) semi-final win in 35 minutes over seventh-seeded Adrian Gavira and Pablo Herrera of Spain. It was the fourth win in six matches for Evandro and Pedro over the Spaniards.
In the bronze medal match, Samoilovs and Smedins outlasted the Spaniards 2-0 (21-14, 34-32) in 51 minutes. While Gavira and Herrera split $24,000 for finishing fourth, the Latvians split $32,000 to place on the Gstaad Major podium for the second-straight year. Samoilovs and Smedins placed second in the 2015 Swiss village stop after losing the finale to Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt of Brazil.
All four teams competing Sunday will be playing next month in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Evandro and Pedro earned the host country berth for the Copacabana competition and earned the No. 4 seed for the Rio Olympics to headline Pool D. Dalhausser and Lucena will be the top team in Pool C after placing third in the FIVB World Tour’s “chase to Copacabana.” The Americans will compete in the same pool with teams from Italy, Mexico and Tunisia.
The Latvians will be listed second in Evandro/Pedro’s group along with Canadians Ben Saxton/Chaim Schalk and Cuban sensations Nivaldo Diaz/Sergio Gonzalez. Gavira and Herrera are designated as the second team in Pool F behind Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson of the United States and ahead of pairs from Austria and Qatar.
One event remains before the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with the fourth of five SWATCH Major Series events July 26-31 in Klagenfurt, Austria. The $800,000 A1 Major Klagenfurt will feature both women’s and men’s competition as the FIVB World Tour returns to Carinthian capital for the 18th-time, but for the first-time since the 2014 season.
With the Rio Olympic Games being played August 6-18, the FIVB World Tour resumes with its events starting with the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball August 23-28 in the United States in southern California at Long Beach followed by the SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals September 13-18 at a site to be announced in the coming weeks.