Beach U19 World Championships 2021 - News

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Thailand’s Wachirawit saves the ball

The Thai fans had a reason to celebrate on Thursday again, after home favourites Netitorn Muneekul and Wachirawit Muadpha, the top-seeded team in the men’s 2021 FIVB Beach Volleyball U19 World Championship main draw, gained their third victory in Pool A to move swiftly forward without losing a single set.

Thursday’s programme of the event at Bangtao Beach in Phuket included the last leg of the pool stage, with the eight pool winners advancing straight to the last 16, as well as the round of 24, in which the pool runners-up and the third-placed teams battled it out for the remaining eight spots in the eighthfinals. With Brazil and Germany pushing forward two pairs each, a total of 14 different countries will be represented in the battles for the quarterfinal berths.

Netitorn and Wachirawit topped their pool after winning the decider against Paraguay’s Santiago Mendoza and Jonathan Abel Reckziegel Gallas by 2-0 (21-17, 21-12) on Thursday morning. In Friday’s eighthfinals, they will take on Spain’s Gabriel Gutierrez Mendez and Alvaro Viera Iglesias who knocked out the second Thai duo, Narakorn Chumaphai and Veerayut Sopati, with a 2-0 (21-13, 21-17) victory in the first knockout round.

Czechia’s Tomas Semerad and Jakub Sepka delivered a 2-0 (21-12, 21-18) shutout of Australia’s Joshua Howat and Soloman Bushby to finish first in Pool B undefeated. Next, they will meet Poland’s Filip Lejawa and Artem Besarab.

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Czechia’s Semerad & Sepka celebrate

After making it to the main draw from Monday’s qualifications, Brazil’s Vilsomar Brito Bernardo Junior and Pedro Augusto Sousa De Oliveira won Pool C without losing a set. They finished their pool campaign with a 2-0 (21-9, 22-20) win over Latvia’s Olivers Bulgacs and Davis Teteris. 30th-seeded Vilso and Pedro’s quest will continue with an eighthfinal game against sixth-seeded Theo Hanni and Andrea Lancianese of Italy.

Fourth-seeded Poles Lejawa and Artem Besarab not only took their first victory in Pool D, 2-0 (21-19, 23-21), but also handed Canada’s Daniil Hershtynovich and Kaden Schmidt their first defeat of the tournament, which gave Ukraine’s Oleksandr Boiko and Oleksii Bublyk the chance to take over the top of the final standings with a 2-0 (21-13, 21-9) blowout of Russia’s Marat Islamov and Egor Zharovin. The Ukrainians will now take on Germany’s Philipp Huster and Lui Wust, seeded third.

The first place in Pool E was decided in a three-set battle between unbeaten Maximilian Just and Momme Lorenz of Germany and Kyran Versteegen and Mees Sengers of the Netherlands. The Dutch guys emerged with a 2-1 (21-13, 19-21, 15-10) win to play against Nicolas Capretti Schosler and Samuel Giacomo Oselame Bello of Brazil in the next round.

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Netherlands’ Versteegen in reception

In Pool F, Austria’s Tim Berger and Timo Hammarberg lost their first set of the competition, but stayed undefeated after claiming a 2-1 (21-14, 16-21, 15-12) victory over Italians Hanni and Lancianese. To advance to the quarterfinals, the Austrians will have to go past Germans Just and Lorenz, who managed an exciting 2-1 (16-21, 21-16, 15-13) comeback against Belgium’s Louis Laenen and Thibault Goset in the round-of-24’s most interesting battle.

Pool G’s decider featured two teams that had not dropped any sets in the first two legs. It stayed that way for France’s Teo Rotar and Arthur Canet who hammered out another straight-setter, 2-0 (21-18, 21-18) over Brazilians Nicolas and Samuel, and will now take on Estonia’s Karmo Saviauk and Kaur Erik Kais.

The last leg in Pool H offered two dramatic comebacks. In one of them, Australia’s Jack Pearse and Lucas Josefsen snatched a 2-1 (18-21, 21-17, 15-7) win over Thailand’s Narakorn and Veerayut to edge Saviauk and Kais for the first place on point ratio after the Estonians conceded their first defeat of the tournament, 2-1 (16-21, 21-15, 15-12) at the hands of Jay Rack De La Noche and Alexander Jhon Iraya of the Philippines. The Aussies are set to lock horns with second-seeded Russians Vladislav Panchenko and Ivan Chuprinov in the eighthfinals.

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Australia’s Josefsen dives to save the ball

Meanwhile, Thursday’s eighthfinal fixtures were set in the women’s competition as well. In the most interesting round-of-24 game earlier on Thursday, bottom-seeded Spanish qualifiers Natalia Ann Binimelis Nicolau and Carolina Fernandez da Silva produced a narrow 2-1 (21-17, 16-21, 16-14) upset of Australia’s Alisha Stevens and Stefanie Fejes to go against Ukraine’s Anhelina Khmil and Tetiana Lazarenko for a spot in the quarterfinals. In the only other three-setter of the round, Latvia’s Varvara Brailko and Anete Namike managed a 2-1 (21-16, 18-21, 15-10) victory over Brazil’s Maria Fernanda Ferreira Dias and Carolina Sallaberry Cavalcanti. Italy’s Valentina Gottardi and Aurora Mattavelli are the next obstacle on the Latvians’ way to the last eight.

Denmark’s representatives Clara Windeleff and Sofia Norager Bisgaard received some good news from home. They were nominated as Breakthrough/Finding of the Year among the 10 biggest talents of 2021 in Danish sports. At the same time, they also found out that they will face Czechia’s Kylie Neuschaeferova and Michaela Brinkova in their round-of-16 match.

The remaining eighthfinal match-ups include Mariia Bocharova and Elizaveta Gubina of Russia against Melania Marcinowska and Urszula Lunio of Poland, Olga Gavrilova and Alina Salmanova of Russia against Tania Moreno Matveeva and Ana Vergara of Spain, Megan Kraft and Delayne Maple of USA against Desy Poiesz and Brecht Piersma of the Netherlands, Ava Mann and Jamie Santer of Canada against Xolani Hodel and Katherine Reilly of USA, and Apinya Saengpaeng and Jidapa Bunongkhun of Thailand against Emma Glagau and Ruby Sorra of Canada.

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Spain’s Fernandez da Silva in defence

Friday’s women’s semifinals, as well as the men’s semifinals and both genders’ medal matches on Saturday, will be streamed live on the Beach Volleyball World video channel on YouTube.