Volleyball Nations League 2021 - News

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The Beach Volley Vikings celebrate with the Norwegian fans in Rome

Anders Mol and Christian Sorum were on a mission at the Beach Volleyball World Championships Rome 2022. After winning nearly every title they possibly could over the last four years, the Norwegians made the trip to Italy looking for the missing item in their trophy cabinet. And they got it on Sunday, when they stepped on to the top of the podium at the Foto Italico.

The reigning Olympic champions, the Beach Volley Vikings brought a sensational ten days of elite-level beach volleyball in the Italian capital to an end with another fantastic performance, defeating Brazilians Vitor Felipe and Renato Lima in straight sets (21-15, 21-16) to claim their first world title. Brazilians Andre Loyola and George Wanderley took bronze.

Since 2018, when they started one of the most incredible runs ever seen in international beach volleyball, the Beach Volley Vikings have won as many as 20 tournaments, including last year’s Tokyo Olympics, the 2018 and 2021 FIVB World Tour Finals and four European Championship gold medals.

“We’re living a dream right now and we’ve been dreaming about winning the World Championship since we were little kids watching Stavanger for the first time,” Mol said. “Our partnership is still kind of recent. But now we have some titles under our belts and it’s still really hard to realize for us what it is that we’re living, because this is just a dream.”

The World Championship trophy was the last to be added to their collection and made 26-year-old Sorum and 24-year-old Mol the youngest team to simultaneously hold the Olympic and world titles, joining a list that includes Brazil’s Jackie Silva/Sandra Pires, Ricardo Santos/Emanuel Rego and Alison Cerutti/Bruno Schmidt, USA’s Kerri Walsh Jennings/Misty May-Treanor and Phil Dalhausser/Todd Rogers and Germany’s Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst.

“We’ve been working hard for so many years, it’s been a dream,” Sorum added. “Everything that’s happened, it’s been really special, but winning the World Championship is even more so because this tournament is the reason I started to play and fell in love with the sport. We couldn’t make it in 2019, but we did this time and now we have all the titles. It feels crazy, difficult to describe. There’s a lot of hard work behind the scenes, but we also have so much fun on the court, so it doesn’t feel so hard. It feels like we’re living a dream.”

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The Norwegians stand at the top of the podium alongside two duos from Brazil

Brazil had a second team on the men’s podium thanks to the victory of Andre and George over Americans Theo Brunner and Chaim Schalk in the bronze medal match. The Brazilians recovered from a slow start to come from behind and take the match 2-1 (15-21, 21-17, 15-11).

Andre and George, who entered the tournament at the top of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Rankings, won their first medal together at the World Championship after finishing fifth in 2019. It was Andre’s second podium appearance on the big stage as he won the 2017 edition of the tournament with Evandro Goncalves.

“Any medal you can win at the World Championships is a big one,” Andre reflected. “And this one was very important for us because I think we did a great job in playing on the big stage and dealing with the tension of key matches. We work hard every day to succeed in the big tournaments and I think we grew a lot in that regard here in Rome.”