Norway’s Anders Mol and Christian Sorum beat ROC’s Viacheslav Krasilnikov and Oleg Stoyanovskiy 21-17, 21-18 Saturday to win the Tokyo Olympics men’s beach gold medal.
“It has been a journey for a long time and our parents and families are very proud of us right now,” Mol said.
The Norwegians, seeded No. 1, went 2-1 in pool play (losing to another Russian pair, Ilya Leshukov and Konstantin Semenov). Then they beat, in succession, Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands, got revenge against Leshukov and Semenov, and in the semfinals swept Latvia’s Martins Plavins and Edgars Tocs. For that matter, the only sets they lost the entire tournament were in the defeat to the Russians.
Sorum is 25 and Mol is 24, making them the youngest pair to win Olympics beach volleyball gold.
“It was just an amazing feeling to play at this high level in the Olympic final,” Sorum said.
The ROC pair was thrilled.
“We are in history, we couldn’t be any happier,” Stoyanovskiy said. “We played in the first Olympic final in the history of our country.”
In the bronze-medal match, Cherif Samba and Ahmed Tijan beat Plavins and Tocs 21-12, 21-18.
“This past year we could achieve every challenge we had in mind,” said the Qataris’ Argentinian coach, Mariano Baracetti. “Like playing and winning the final of a FIVB tournament, what we first did in Cancun, and then did three times in a row,” Baracetti said. “It was a maturing process thanks to the last three, four years of work that finishes with an Olympic medal.
“Honestly, I don’t make any difference by the color. This is worth like gold for us, volleyball in Qatar, and the country, too.”