World champs Perusic and Schweiner back to the top of the podium in Stare Jablonki

World champs Perusic and Schweiner back to the top of the podium in Stare Jablonki
Fecha de publicación: 
3 June 2024
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Czech stars Ondrej Perusic and David Schweiner secured their first victory after their triumph at last year’s Beach Volleyball World Championship on Sunday, when they won gold at the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Stare Jablonki Challenge, in Poland.

The women’s tournament title went to Chinese Olympians Xinyi Xia and Chen Xue. The victory was special for Xue, who took gold in the World Championship in the Polish city 11 years ago, in 2013, with former partner Zhang Xi.

  • Watch the Beach Pro Tour Stare Jablonki Challenge matches on demand on VBTV

Playing in just their fourth tournament in 2024, Perusic and Schweiner went undefeated in Stare Jablonki, winning all of their six matches in the tournament. In the final, they topped Cuban sensations Jorge Alayo and Noslen Diaz 2-1 (21-17, 17-21, 15-11) to secure the title.

“These were intense three days,” Perusic reflected. “We faced many opponents who are among the top 15 in the World Rankings. We hadn’t won since the World Championship and were under pressure to perform well and I’m glad that we did it. It’s good timing for us to start playing well as we have our home tournament in Ostrava next week, which is very important. We expect a great atmosphere from our home fans and are looking forward to going as far as possible.”

Dutch Stefan Boermans and Yorick de Groot took bronze in Stare Jablonki, their second medal in the season, with a 2-0 (21-12, 21-10) victory over the Argentinean Capogrosso brothers Nicolas and Tomas.

Stare Jablonki Challenge – Final Results

women's podiu Stare Jablonki Challenge

Teams from China, Latvia and Spain made it to the women's podium in Poland

In the women’s final in Poland, Xue and Xia overcame Latvian Olympians Tina Graudina and Anastasija Samoilova 2-0 (21-16, 22-20) to secure their second title in the season, following a victory in Saquarema back in March.

“Before the tournament started, our coach reminded me that I had won my world title here and he said I was going to win again,” Xue revealed. “I was hopeful, but I knew it was going to be really difficult to do it again. We played very well over the week and managed the difficult times. Winning the gold medal here means a lot. The points here help us a lot and the victory also boosts our confidence before Paris.”

Spanish Liliana Fernández and Paula Soria filled the third spot at the podium in Stare Jablonki after Canadians Heather Bansley and Sophie Bukovec had to forfeit the bronze medal match of the women’s tournament.

Stare Jablonki results cause Olympic Rankings movement

The results of the Stare Jablonki Challenge caused significant changes in the FIVB Olympic Rankings with just one tournament left in the qualification period, involving teams that were just outside the qualification zone and also ones who are battling other duos from their own countries for a spot in the Paris Games.

Men’s silver medalists Alayo and Diaz started the event outside the qualification zone, but are now well inside it with the 760 points they collected, getting to 7,800. With that, Chilean cousins Marco and Esteban Grimalt, who have 7,260, were pushed down the list and are now looking from the outside.

Jorge Alayo Noslen Diaz Cuba Beach Pro Tour Stare Jablonki Challenge

Alayo and Diaz are much closer to Paris after their second-place finish

The same movement happened among the women, with bronze medalists Liliana and Paula elevating their total to 6,800 and now getting inside the qualification zone. Canadians Sarah Pavan and Molly McBain, who were the last team inside the zone, also added points, but got only to 6,660 and are now outside.

The results also impacted the internal Dutch race as Boermans and de Groot now took control of their faith, getting to 9,180 points with their podium appearance in Stare Jablonki and passing compatriots Matthew Immers/Steven van de Velde (8,880) and Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen (8,600), who both failed to add points in the Polish event.

The Olympic qualification period comes to an end next week, after the conclusion of the Ostrava Elite16, which will go from Wednesday to Sunday in Czechia.

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