Vikings and Russian world champs on Vienna gold collison course
At the Vienna Major, Norwegian top-seeds Anders Mol and Christian Sorum seem still to be cruising to their next gold at ease. In the round of 16 they beat Italian Olympic silver medalist Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo. For the first time, it took them three sets to take down the Italians. Winning the first set in dominant fashion, they lost the second to the Italians who stepped up their game. But the Vikings were again in full control in the tie-break where they extended their early lead to win the set decisively (21:12, 19:21, 15:7). Anders Mol being gentleman as usual:
“The Italians played well. They fought back after the first set. Thanks to Nicolai/Lupo for this great game.”
In the semifinal, the Vikings will face Heidrich/Gerson from Switzerland. But their strongest opponents might be Russians Viacheslav Krasilnikov and Oleg Stoyanovskiy. Just as in Hamburg, the new world champions defeated Americans Jake Gibb and Taylor Crabb in the round of 16 convincingly (21:17, 21:11). With 86% side-out percentage, the Russians were again the masters of consistency and efficiency. In the gold medal match, it could come to a showdown with the Norwegians.
Some more disappointment for another US team. Hamburg semifinalists Tri Bourne and Trevor Crabb had to withdraw from their round of 16 match due to injury. A broken finger forced Tri Bourne to finish the tournament at this advanced stage. Their German opponents Ehlers/Flüggen will play US oldies Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena in the quarterfinals who won a three-setter against Dutchmen Brouwer/Meeuwsen in the round of 16.
A total Brazilian dominance occurs on the women’s side with three teams from Brazil in the semifinals. In the quarterfinals, World Tour Finals winners Agatha/ Duda beat Olympic champion Laura Ludwig and Maggie Kozuch from Germany in three sets. After both teams won a set (21:19), the Brazilians took an early 5:1 lead in the tie-break that they didn’t give away anymore. They closed the set in convincing manner (15:9). In the semifinal, they will go up against the new Canadian world champions Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes, the only non-Brazilian team in the final four who beat Hüberli/Betschart (Switzerland). The second, all-Brazilian semifinal will see Talita/Taiana Lima face Maria Antonelli/ Carol who defeated the last remaining US team Larsen/Stockman in three sets. Talita/Taiana Lima beat defending champions Barbora Hermannova and Marketa Slukova (Czech Republic) who had eliminated A-Team Alix Klineman and April Ross in the round of 16.
Find the full schedule at the official FIVB event page.