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2018-08-12 07:00:00 CEST

Gold on the way to Hamburg

Summer/Hughes and Samoilovs/Smedins top the podium in Moscow a few days before the Finals

Americans Summer Ross and Sara Hughes and Latvians Aleksandrs Samoilovs will get to Hamburg to compete in the Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals presented by Vodafone in good spirits as the teams won the gold medals in the four-star event in Moscow, their last stop before they head to the German harbour city.

In the women’s tournament, Summer and Hughes won their first World Tour gold medal as a team in just the ninth tournament since they decided to team up, back in March. The Americans needed all three sets (21-19, 12-21, 15-12) to overcome Brazilians Agatha Bednarczuk and Duda Lisboa, who are also headed to Hamburg next week.

“That was so amazing,” Hughes said. “My first World Tour final and being in the final meant everything. I am so glad I had this girl by my side. Brazil played great, but we competed hard to come out with the win.”

So proud of my team. Hard work pays off ! 🥇 in Moscow 🇷🇺 ! Now off to Hamburg 🇩🇪

50 Likes, 4 Comments - José Loiola (@loiolavb) on Instagram: "So proud of my team. Hard work pays off ! 🥇 in Moscow 🇷🇺 ! Now off to Hamburg 🇩🇪"

Swiss rising stars Nina Betschart and Tanja Hüberli secured their second bronze medal in the season after the European vice champions prevailed over Germans Julia Sude and Chantal Laboureur in straight sets (21-19, 21-12) to finish third in the Russian event.

Among the men, Samoilovs and Smedins used all their chemistry to take down Brazilian Olympic champion Alison Cerutti and world champion Andre Loyola, who were playing in their first final together, in just two sets (21-18, 21-13). It was the second gold medal won by the Latvians in 2018.

Golden evening! #SAMSME #beachworldtour #moscow4star

401 Likes, 8 Comments - Samoilovs Smedins (@samoilovssmedins) on Instagram: "Golden evening! #SAMSME #beachworldtour #moscow4star"

“They are obviously a very good team and they started the game really well,” Samoilovs said. “We were down quite a few points in the beginning of the game but we just kept playing and things changed. We just kept the same rhythm in the second set and that’s why we won.”

Russians up-and-comers Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Igor Velichko secure the home country a spot in the podium as they triumphed over other of the new Brazilian teams, the one of Evandro Goncalves and Vitor Felipe, in two sets (21-12, 21-10) in the bronze medal match.

USA and Russia on top in Vaduz  

American female beach volleyball had one more gold medal to celebrate in Europe as Lara Dykstra and Allie Wheeler prevailed in the one-star event in Vaduz, Liechtenstein. Russians Valeriy Samoday and Taras Myskiv finished on top among the men.

The USA tandem, which started the event in the qualification tournament, claimed the title with a straight-set (21-13, 21-17) victory over Poland’s Agata Ceynowa and Martyna Kloda in the finals. Greece’s Dimitra Manavi and Konstantina Tsopoulou won bronze following a three-set (21-14, 10-21, 15-13) win over Switzerland’s Esmee Bobner and Zoe Vergé-Dépré.

In the men’s tournament, Samoday and Myskiv came out on top after a come-from-behind (29-31, 21-17, 15-11) victory over Switzerland’s Florian Breer and Yves Haussener in the gold medal match. Ukraine’s Vladyslav Iemelianchyk and Sergiy Popov claimed bronze following a two-set (21-12, 21-16) victory over Poland’s Mateusz Lysikowski and Mateusz Paszkowski.

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