Moscow, Russia, June 1, 2017 - After finishing fifth last July at the SWATCH Major Series stop in Austria, Anders Mol and Christian Sorum are “liking life” on the FIVB World Tour as the young Norwegians won a pair of international Beach Volleyball matches here Thursday at the Vodny Stadium Beach Sports Centre.
After the 19-year old Mol and 21-year old Sorum upset Russian Olympians and eighth-seeded Viacheslav Krasilnikov and Nikita Liamin of Russia 2-0 (27-25, 21-17) in 41 minutes to open play Thursday, the Norwegians scored a 2-1 (21-16, 19-21, 15-12) win in 46 minutes over 24th-seeded Maciej Rudol and Jakub Szalankiewicz of Poland.
In improving their FIVB World Tour record to 9-1 with three Moscow wins this week, the 25th-seeded Mol and Sorum have advanced to the second-round of Friday’s elimination bracket play with a “bye” after winning Pool H. The Norwegians also captured their pool in Austria in their first-ever FIVB World Tour event together as they defeated Krasilnikov and his Russian Olympic partner Konstantin Semenov in three sets.
When asked to sum up their day Thursday in one word, Mol’s father and coach (Kare) said “amazing.” The younger Mol added that his team played “well. We not only competed against more experienced players and teams today, but we also handled the weather conditions. But, we need to be prepared for tomorrow against another tough team.”
Mol and Sorum still need to win at least once Friday to match their previous best and must net two wins to become the first men’s or women’s Beach Volleyball team from Norway to advance to a FIVB World Tour “final four” since July 2011 when Tarjei Skarlund and Martin Spinnangr placed fourth on “home sand” at an international stop in Stavanger.
Five other countries also won pool titles Thursday led by two each by Brazil and the United States. Joining Norway with sole group leaders were Austria, host Russia and Spain as each pool winner posted two wins each Thursday to secure a first-round “bye” in Friday’s 24-team elimination bracket.
Brazilians topping pools were third-seeded Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt (Pool C) and sixth-seeded qualifiers Gustavo "Guto" Carvalhaes/Pedro Solberg (Pool F). American group leaders were fourth-seeded Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena (Pool D) and 12th-seeded Theo Brunner/Casey Patterson (Pool E).
Joining the “perfect” pairs from Thursday’s action were 17th-seeded Clemens Doppler/Alexander Horst of Austria, 15th-seeded Oleg Stoyanovskiy/Artem Yarzutkin of Russia (Pool B) and 10th-seeded Adrian Gavira/Pablo Herrera of Spain (Pool G).
Being played alongside the women’s Main Draw, the elimination rounds continue through Saturday to set the lineup for Sunday's medal matches. The winning duos in each gender’s competition will share the $10,000 first-place prizes.
Following the Moscow stop, the FIVB World Tour takes a week off before resuming play June 15-18 for a “three-star” $150,000 event in The Netherlands at The Hague. Highlighting the 2017 international calendar for men and women Beach Volleyball players will be the $1-million FIVB World Championships July 28 through August 6 in Vienna, Austria and the $800,000 SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals August 23-27 in Hamburg, Germany. Overall, there are 15 men’s and 19 women’s events on the $5.335-million FIVB World Tour schedule.