Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen won their first FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour gold of 2018 when they defeated Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Igor Velichko in the 4-Star KATARA Beach Volleyball Cup gold medal match on Saturday.
The Dutch pair fought back from losing the first set to beat the Russians 2-1 (20-22, 21-14, 15-11).
“We have known them since last week when we played them in Fort Lauderdale, they are a new team and a young team and they played amazingly this whole tournament,” Brouwer said.
Brouwer and Meeuwsen began the year by winning bronze in front of their home fans at the 4-star Dela Beach Open in The Hague before taking gold from the CEV European Masters in Pelhrimov, Czech Republic.
Now the 2013 world champions have ended their wait for a World Tour gold with their 10th Tour medal, having last topped the podium at the 3-Star Xiamen tournament in April 2017.
“We started off really well in the start of the first set, but we let them come back with our mistakes,” Meeuwsen said. “We kept going forward and going for the next point. We stayed cool even if it was a final and I’m really happy with how we played.”
Stoyanovskiy and Velichko were playing in their first World Tour gold medal match since they teamed up as a pair at the start of the year. They had both won Tour medals with previous partners, and they have now set the bar high for success in future tournaments.
“We are very happy because we played very well this week,” Stoyanovskiy said. “We had to play at a very high level because of the teams that were here, and that is the key for us to play well and then we can worry about the medals.”
Qatar’s Cherif Younousse and Ahmed Tijan delighted the home crowd by becoming the first Qatari team to win a World Tour medal on home sand when they defeated the USA’s Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena 2-1 (21-19, 19-21, 15-13) in the bronze medal match.
The pair played two tournaments together in 2014 before they went their separate ways, but since they reunited at the end of 2017, their combination of Cherif’s prowess at the net and Ahmed Tijan’s agility at the back has allowed them to develop into a competitive pairing.
“The game was not really easy and we had to fight to the end,” Cherif said. “We were playing against two of the best players in the world, but we had the energy and didn’t give up and fought until the end.”
The 4-Star KATARA Beach Volleyball Cup ran from March 6-10, and took place at the KATARA Cultural Village. It was the fourth time that Doha has hosted an FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour tournament, following competitions in 2014, 2015 and 2016.