Italy’s Andrea Tomatis and Francesco Vanni could not ask for anything better than to crown with gold their campaign in the second stop of the WEVZA Beach Volleyball Tour as the men-only tournament came to a close on Sunday in Fregene, some 40 km away from Rome, with their 21-17, 21-17 victory over Belgium’s Tom Van Walle and Dries Koekelkoren in the final.
“We played very well, especially at blocking,” Tomatis said. “However, I am confident that we can do even better than we did here as there is still room for improvement in terms of our physical condition as well as from a technical stand-point.”
Italy’s Andrea Lupo and Davide Michienzi claimed bronze to complete a perfect weekend for the home teams of Italy. On Saturday Lupo – the younger brother of reigning European champion Daniele – and Michienzi had turned into the real sensation of the competition but on Sunday they lost in straight sets their semi with Koekelkoren and Van Walle. Lupo and Michienzi could still be happy with their third place as their opponents in the bronze medal match, Italy’s Gianluca Casadei and Paolo Ficosecco, withdrew due to physical problems.
Earlier in the day Tomatis/Vanni had edged Ficosecco/Casadei, Italy’s national champions back in 2012, by 2:0 (21-17, 21-10) in the first semi while Koekelkoren/Van Walle had stamped a speedy 21-11, 21-12 win over Lupo/Michienzi.
Switzerland’s 2012 Olympian Sébastien Chevallier and partner Marco Krattiger had to be content with seventh place as they lost to Ficosecco/Casadei in one of Sunday’s first matches (21-23, 21-16, 10-15). This is a quite disappointing result for the Swiss tandem with Chevallier being also a former medallist of the FIVB Grand Slam in Rome, a feat he achieved back in 2012 with former partner, Swiss Beach Volleyball legend Sascha Heyer.
Germany’s Bennet and David Poniewaz ended the competition in fifth place, a position they share with Spain’s Francisco Alfredo Marco/Christian Garcia.
“I am very happy with the way things went these days here in Fregene,” the chairman of the local Organising Committee, Mr Giorgio Pallotta said. “Everything went well, both from an organisational and technical point of view. In the end two Italian teams made the podium and we had three pairs among the top four. It was the first time that an international Beach Volleyball event was held here in Fregene, a traditional ‘home’ to this sport. I would like to thank the WEVZA for their trust and all those who have worked in the organisation of the tournament.”
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