07.07.2019 - Hamburg, Germany
Anders Mol and Christian Sørum were the favorites to take home the gold medals of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships Hamburg 2019 presented by comdirect and ALDI Nord until their hopes were cut short by home heroes Julius Thole and Clemens Wickler in the semi-finals.
The Norwegians, however, won’t leave the Rothenbaum Stadium empty-handed as they secured their spot on the podium after a three-set (19-21, 21-15, 15-10) victory over Americans Tri Bourne and Trevor Crabb in the bronze medal match.
“It was a tough loss yesterday and we had to start over again, which is never easy,” Mol commented. “We had to refocus and that was hard. We lost the first set but in the second set we started playing in the way we are used to and it was great that we managed to win it because I think we really deserved it. We’ve been playing at a good level for a long time and to top it with a bronze medal here is amazing.”
The Beach Volley Vikings are the second Norwegian team to win a bronze medal at the World Championships repeating what Jorre Kjemperud and Vegard Hoidalen did in Klagenfurt in 2001.
For the world number ones, to stand at the podium in their first-ever World Championships appearance was reason for pure joy.
“It’s a big win for us,” Sørum said afterwards. “There’s a big difference between finishing third or fourth and we’re super happy that we ended on the right side of it. A medal is always good and to take one in such a big tournament, it’s really important for our sport in Norway. There were a lot of people watching back home and it’s huge that we got this medal.”
The Vikings didn’t get to top the podium for a second consecutive year in Hamburg after they won last season’s World Tour Finals, but they will have another opportunity to win back-to-back golds as soon as next week, when they’ll compete at the Swatch Gstaad Major.
“Gstaad is my favorite tournament and I can’t wait to be there,” Mol added. “We’ll get some rest in the next few days and will be ready when the competition stats there. It’s a Major and there will a lot of points in play, so we want to do our best in front of the amazing fans there.”
For Bourne and Crabb, their good campaign in Hamburg didn’t end with a medal around their necks, but they’re hopeful the performances they had at the Rothenbaum Stadium over the past 10 days will propel them forward in the World Tour.
“We gave ourselves a chance to win,” Bourne reflected. “It went three sets in the semi-final and in the bronze medal match and we had a real chance of winning a medal here. We’re happy we’re giving ourselves these opportunities. We’re still a new partnership and have a lot of room to grow and it’s always about getting better and we definitely got better at this tournament.”