Olsztyn, Poland, July 22, 2017 - After finishing 41st, 25th and 33rd in their last three FIVB World Tour events, German Olympians Markus Bockermann and Lars Fluggen won three matches here Saturday at the $300,000 Warmia Mazury Olsztyn Open to advance to the gold medal match.
Seeded 25th in the third annual stop at the Lake Ukiel venue after winning a qualifying match Wednesday, Bockermann and Fluggen defeated higher-seeded teams from Canada, the United States and Latvia to play for Sunday’s $20,000 first-place prize against 13th-seeded John Hyden and Ryan Doherty of the United States.
To advance to their sixth FIVB World Tour title match, Bockermann and Fluggen scored a 2-0 (21-14, 21-13) win in 29 minutes over 21st-seeded Martins Plavins/Haralds Regza of Latvia. The Germans were 2-3 in FIVB finales with both of their wins being at 2015 World Tour stops in China and Qatar.
The 44-year Hyden, who will be seeking to rewrite a FIVB record Sunday, and Doherty gained a spot in the finals by ousting pairs from Argentina and Russia to start play Saturday followed by a 2-0 (21-18, 21-15) semifinal win in 36 minutes over 16th-seeded Lombardo Ontiveros/Juan Virgen of Mexico.
Hyden set the “oldest” player to win an international beach volleyball event (41 years, eight months, 15 days) at a 2014 FIVB World Tour stop in Berlin as he and Tri Bourne posted a 2-0 (21-17, 21-11) gold medal win on June 22 over Doherty and Nick Lucena in the all-American finale. With Bourne sidelined this season with health issues, Hyden and Doherty joined forces and placed fourth in their first event in mid-February at a United States stop in Fort Lauderdale.