Klagenfurt, Austria, July 31, 2016 - With the excitement of playing in the Rio 2016 Olympics on iconic Copacabana in the next seven days, Janis Smedins celebrated his 29th birthday here Sunday as he and his Latvian partner Aleksandrs Samoilovs won two matches to claim the gold medal at the US$800,000 A1 Major Klagenfurt.
With their 2-0 (21-18, 21-18) gold medal win in 35 minutes over fourth-seeded Saymon Barbosa and Gustavo "Guto" Carvalhaes of Brazil, the top-seeded Latvians split the $57,000 first-place prize money. The 22-year old Brazilians split $43,000 for placing second in the fourth of five SWATCH Major Series events on the 2015-2016 FIVB World Tour.
In the bronze medal match, third-seeded Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk of Canada defeated 11th-seeded Bartosz Losiak and Michal Bryl of Poland 2-1 (23-21, 17-21, 15-12) in 52 minutes. The victory earned the Rio-bound Canadians a $32,000 payday while the Poles split $24,000.