Lausanne, Switzerland, September 4, 2016 - Four Beach Volleyball teams that will be competing in the SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals in Canada in the next 10 days posted podium placing performances Sunday at two separate events in Latvia and the United State.
With Latvia’s Head of State Raimonds Vejonis watching the competition at the start of Sunday’s international Beach Volleyball action, the pairs of Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins of Latvia and Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude of Germany captured the men’s and women’s gold medals, respectively, at the CEV Masters events in Jurmala.
Both European pairs will competing starting September 14 in the SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals in Toronto at Polson’s Pier along with the tandems of Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena and Tri Bourne/John Hyden as the American teams placed 1-2 Sunday in an AVP domestic event on Lake Michigan in Chicago.
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Samoilovs and Smedins, the No. 1-ranked team on the 2015-2016 FIVB World Tour points lists, had to come from behind to edge Russia’s Yaroslav Koshkarev and Ruslan Bykanov 2-1 (18-21, 21-10, 15-12) in a 42-minute gold medal match played before a sell-out crowd.
Prior to Samoilovs and Smedins’ win Laboureur and Sude lived up to their role as the top-seeded team in the CEV Jurmala Masters in Latvia’s ‘summer capital’ by claiming the gold medal match by defeating compatriots Isabel Schneider and Teresa Mersmann 2-0 (21-13, 22-20) in 35 minutes.
Chantal Laboureur (left) and Julia Sude after winning Sunday in Latvia
Laboureur and Sude are the No. 3-ranked team on the international circuit behind Rio Olympic medal winners Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst of Germany and April Ross/Kerri Walsh Jennings of the United States. All three teams will be competing in Toronto where the SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals concludes September 18.
Across the Atlantic some eight hours later, Dalhausser and Lucena topped Bourne and Hyden 2-0 (21-13, 21-7) in 49 minutes. A week earlier in a FIVB World Tour stop in the United States at Long Beach, Dalhausser and Lucena dropped a three-set gold medal match to Brazilians Evandro Goncalves and Pedro Solberg. Both Samoilovs/Smedins and Laboureur/Sude captured the bronze medal at the Long Beach FIVB stop in southern California.
AVP action Sunday in Chicago