13.06.2019 - Hamburg, Germany
There’s just no way around it and every men’s team set to compete at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships Hamburg 2019 presented by comdirect and ALDI Nord knows it at this point. If the gold medal at the Rothenbaum Stadium is the ultimate goal, sooner or later, Anders Mol and Christian Sørum well get on the way.
Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Viacheslav Krasilnikov are no exception. The Russians were drawn in Pool C of the tournament, where they’ll face Austrians Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst, Italians Alex Ranghieri and Marco Caminati and Japanese Gottsu Ishijima and Yuya Ageba. But it’s another country and another team that they can't get off their minds.
“The gold medal is our goal and we’ll consider any result different than that a loss,” Stoyanovskiy explains. “There’s an undisputed number one team in the world now, which is Norway, and six or eight teams who are all eager to topple them. I dare to say we’re in this inner circle.”
The Russians are actually part of one of just three teams on the planet that can be proud of having taken Mol and Sørum down after they started their unstoppable run to dominate the beach volleyball world last summer.
It was in January, when they knocked the Beachvolley Vikings out of the World Tour four-star event in The Hague on their way to win their first gold as partners. It was one of only three setbacks of the Norwegians in their last 50 World Tour matches.
Four months later, however, Mol and Sørum got their revenge, toppling Stoyanovskiy and Krasilnikov in the semifinals of the four-star tournament in Ostrava.
“The match in the Hague was played in an indoor venue and it was during preseason,” Stoyanovskiy recalled. “I think it just happened that we were better prepared that day. I’m sure it will be different when we meet again. Both teams have gone a long way since that match and I don’t think it will have any impact in our future meetings. But we’ll do our best to repeat that experience because beating the number one team in the world is always special.”
Krasilinikov, who won bronze with Nikita Liamin at the 2017 edition of the World Championships, and Stoynovskiy have every reason to be confident, though. The Russians joined forces last September and have been in good form since then, securing top-10 finishes in each of the seven World Tour events they played at, collecting two gold medals, a silver and a bronze in the process.
“The first two times I competed I was too young to compete with the top teams, so Hamburg will be pinnacle of my career so far,” Stoyanovskiy explained. “We've had a good start to the season and I am positive we’ll be able to perform to the expectations even if there’s still a lot to be done, both individually and as a team. And Slava’s experience is definitely a huge plus. It will give us an extra bit of confidence in the decisive moments.”
Regardless of whatever happens on the sand, Stoyanovskiy is ready for a special experience in Hamburg. The 22-year-old Russian has been in the last two editions of the World Championships and he knows very well what to expect when the best teams on the planet gather at the Rothenbaum Stadium.
“The World Championships are a completely different caliber, they are cooler than any other tournament,” the Russian added. “My memories from the two times I participated go well beyond the tournament itself. It’s a great sports festival with almost 100 teams from all over the globe and several side events that attract a lot of fans during the entire week. To play an ordinary pool match in front of thousands of people was really exciting.”