European Eye on Tokyo: Beach Volleyball

With the Olympic flame extinguished and the curtain drawn on the Olympic Games in Tokyo, we look back at the beach volleyball events and cast the spotlight on the three historic medals for European teams.

The first-ever Olympic medal for Norway in volleyball. The youngest to ever win beach volleyball gold at the Olympics. Christian Sørum and Anders Mol entered the history books with a bang after defeating ROC duo Viacheslav Krasilnikov and Oleg Stoyanovskiy 2-0 (21-17, 21-18) in the gold medal match on Saturday.

The Beachvolley Vikings are only the second European team to win gold since the addition of beach volleyball to the Olympic programme in 1996. More so, they are the youngest to step atop the podium, with Sørum aged 25 and Mol 24.

"It feels unreal! We’ve been working for this so hard and for so long! It’s been our dream for so many years. Becoming the youngest Olympic champions is really a dream come true and I don’t think we really realise what we have done right now. It’s surreal," Mol told Volleyball World. 

Third-party content
To protect your personal data, we have blocked third-party content from loading automatically. If you agree to have twitter.com content displayed on munich2022.com, please give your consent below. You can withdraw your consent at any time. For further information, please check our privacy policy.

Sørum echoed the feelings, still in disbelief he’s now owning an Olympic gold medal himself: "Three years ago I took a screenshot of the Olympic gold medal from Rio and I put it on my phone and I’ve watched that medal every day since. To stand here with a gold medal, together with Anders and the rest of our team, is amazing. And to be on the podium with ROC and Qatar is also huge for us, because we are good friends, and we all work hard and push each other and where we are today is also because of each other. I’m just really happy and I can’t believe it!" 

Reigning world champions Krasilnikov and Stoyanovskiy wrote history themselves, handing their country the first-ever medal in beach volleyball. Cherif Younousse and Ahmed Tijan of Qatar denied an all-European podium, downing Latvian pair Mārtiņš Pļaviņš and Edgars Točs in the bronze medal match, 2-0 (21-12, 21-18).

Swiss smiles

On Friday, Joana Heidrich and Anouk Vergé-Dépré took on the role of history-makers in the women’s tournament, edging out Latvians Tīna Graudiņa and Anastasija Kravčenoka 2-0 (21-19, 21-15) for bronze. Whilst Latvia’s medal hopes were shattered for a first time at Shiokaze Park, the bronze medallists were all smiles, as they secured Switzerland’s first-ever Olympic medal in women’s beach volleyball. Compatriots Patrick Heuscher and Stefan Kobel had previously achieved the feat in the men’s event at the 2004 Athens Games.

"It’s a huge honour to represent Switzerland and it’s a dream come true that we won this Olympic medal. We hope to inspire a lot of kids to play beach volleyball in Switzerland," Vergé-Dépré said. "What we experienced as a team here is one of those stories you can’t experience in other environments. You go through so many emotions, ups and downs, over five years now. We had a back surgery, we had coronavirus, we had mental problems to motivate ourselves at the beginning of the pandemic... There was so much going on and I think overcoming this as a team will stay in our hearts."

Meanwhile, the USA reclaimed their reign in women’s beach volleyball. Alix Klineman and April Ross went undefeated on their way to gold, prevailing over Australians Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy 2-0 (21-15, 21-16) in the final. It is the USA’s fourth women’s title in seven Olympic beach volleyball tournaments.

Third-party content
To protect your personal data, we have blocked third-party content from loading automatically. If you agree to have twitter.com content displayed on munich2022.com, please give your consent below. You can withdraw your consent at any time. For further information, please check our privacy policy.

Relive all the action from Shiokaze Park through FIVB, CEV and Volleyball World. For all results from the Olympic Games, please visit the official Tokyo 2020 website.

International beach volleyball action resumes on Wednesday, with CEV EuroBeachVolley taking place in Vienna. Follow the games on the official event website and find out who will be crowned European champions 2021.

Tags

Beach Volleyball