After two days of pool play, the women’s field is down to 24 teams, while the men are set to wrap up pool action on Thursday at the CEV European Beach Championships.
The men’s podium at the Gstaad Major will be full of new faces as the last of the previous three years’ medalists fell in the quarterfinals on Friday. Paolo Nicolai/Daniele Lupo (Italy), Anders Mol/Christian Sorum (Norway), Pablo Herrera/Adrian Gavira (Spain) and Taylor Crabb/Jake Gibb (USA) remain.
The top two seeds of the Gstaad Major on the men’s side are out of the competition in a historic occurrence as both failed to win a match during the pool play stage.
A pair of tiebreak wins on Sunday clinched Latvians Janis Smedins/Aleksandrs Samoilovs their first FIVB World Tour gold since Olsztyn in June 2016.
Saturday was all seemingly about the men at the Espinho Four Star as the field was whittled from 32 to four. Meanwhile, the women’s podium was decided with the semifinal and medal matches.
The women’s field was whittled down to four, while the men advanced to the first elimination round after pool play on Friday.
Canadians Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson have climbed the FIVB World Tour podium over the last few weeks, culminating in the pair’s first ever gold at the Warsaw Four Star on Sunday. Meanwhile top seeded Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak of Poland claimed the men’s title.
Six of the eight men’s pool winners were crowned on Thursday before thunderstorm interrupted the action. Eight women’s pool winners punched their tickets to the second elimination round.
All nine players, including Latvia’s Alexandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins and Spain’s Pablo Herrara/Adrian Gavira, will be in action and representing p1440 at the FIVB Ostrava Four-Star event in the Czech Republic from June 20-24.
History was made on the men’s side of the Huntington Beach Four-Star as seventh-seeded Dutch duo Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands became the first European team in nearly 22 years to claim an FIVB event title on American soil. The last was Norway’s Jan Kvalhelm/Bjorn Masseide at the 196 U.S. Open in Hermosa Beach, California.