The duos Arnaud Gauthier-Rat/Arnaud Loiseau from France and Puk Stubbe/Katjia Zwaanswijk from The Netherlands topped the 2015 WEVZA U21 Beach Volleyball Championships, while Portuguese team Diogo Pereira/Bruno Santiago and German girls Lena Günther/Andrea Harbring claimed Gold in the 2015 WEVZA U19 Beach Volleyball Championships in the competitions held this weekend in Portuguese city of Macedo de Cavaleiros.
The joint tournaments took place in Praia da Ribeira beach and turned the idyllic Portuguese coastal town in the epicentre of Beach Volleyball in the Zonal Volleyball Association of the Western European countries.
In the Under21 championships, French duo Arnaud Gauthier-Rat/Arnaud Loiseau returned to Portugal after the fifth position reached in the 2014 FIVB U19 World Championship celebrated in Porto, this time to claim gold in the men’s tournament after beating locals Francisco Pombeiro/José Jardim in the final. 2:0 (21-19 , 21-15).
“We are thrilled to have achieved our first international triumph”, declared the young French players. “It has been even more remarkable since we played the final in front of all the public against us”.
The third position of the podium went to German duo Stöhr/Harms, after upsetting Jasper Bouter-Tom Van Steenis from The Netherlands
The title of the U21 women’s tournament was won by Dutch ladies Stubbe/ Zwaanswijk in a disputed final over French Alexia Richard / Lezana Placette (2:1; 21-16, 8-21, 15-9). The other French representative, Chamreau/Lusson earned the Bronze medal after their victory over German duo Kozcian- Welsch.
The organising country had the chance to celebrate in the 2015 WEVZA U19 Beach Volleyball. Locals Diogo Pereira -Bruno Santiago earned their first gold medal in a WEVZA tournament after upsetting Germans Stoob/Reinhardt 2:1 (14-21, 21-13, 16-14) in the men’s competition.
German representatives avenged the defeat in the final and reached the Bronze medal, since Matt Binder/Vincent Freytag beat 2:0 (21-15 , 25-16) locals João Nuno Pedrosa- João Alves in the ¾ Final.
In the Women’s tournament victory also went to Germany, as Lena Günther/Andrea Harbring beat (2:0: 21-18, 21-17) their teammates Leonie Körtzinger/Viktoria Seeber, in an all-German final.
“We are very happy and very surprised by this medal. We won Gold after beating in the final a team that is more experienced than us. It is great that the two German teams met in the final; someone had to win and it’s great that it was us”, declared the young winners.
The local duo Bárbara Freitas / Sara Lourenço did not manage to give a cheer to Portuguese fans as hosts lost in the ¾ Final against Dutch Stubbe-Stam 2:0.
The awarding ceremony was attended by Carlos Barroso and José Luís Afonso, respectively vice-president and councillor of sports of the municipal chamber of Macedo de Cavaleiros, together with the director of Portuguese Volleyball Federation, Alvaro Lopes and the Beach Volleyball responsible of the Portuguese Volleyball Federation, Henrique Gomes.
Click here for more information of the tournaments, including results and picture gallery.