Six Swedish teams chasing home glory at NEVZA event in Göteborg
The second competition day of NEVZA Beach Sweden is Beach Volleyball history. The field is now down to four teams per gender, with ‘only’ two victories needed to triumph on Sunday with the coveted gold medals.
Hosts Sweden have as many as three teams per gender still in contention for glory – with Norway and Denmark boasting one apiece in the men’s and women’s semis, respectively.
When the day started, the host country had three teams chasing further success in the so-called winners’ bracket of both the women’s and men’s tournaments. Out of these three teams, top-seeds Susanna and Kristina Thurin made it straight to the semi-finals on the women’s side. For Anniken Rådström/Kristin Lind, the Danish opponents Line Trans Hansen/Clara Windeleff proved too tough and strong for the home favourites. Nina Grawender/Sigrid Simonsson lost in Round 3 but came back strong in their second attempt to reach the semis.
The youngsters Filippa Brink and Isabelle Reffel fought well but came up short and finished the competition in 7th place. “It has been super fun to play here in the fine facility in Göteborg. We hope to continue playing at an international level as we feel we can give more. As a whole, we still feel satisfied with our efforts, as our goal was to play against these experienced players and develop,” Brink and Reffel said. “We are looking forward to playing as much good Beach Volleyball as possible and are now longing for the season 2020!”
In the semis, Thurin/Thurin play Rådström/Lind, who came back through the losers’ bracket, while Grawender/Simonsson take on Trans Hansen/Windeleff in the other match.
In the men’s competition, Martin Appelgren/Alexander Herrmann comfortably advanced to the semi-finals by outscoring Linus Tholse/Viktor Jonsson 2-0. They now face a rough task as they go head to head against the hometown heroes Leon Vincent/Joel Hallabro. However, even though Tholse/Jonsson did not finish on top in their encounter with Appelgren/Herrmann, the tournament is not over for the Swedish duo. After bouncing back with a 2-0 victory against Pekka Piippo/Pyry Topio of Finland on Saturday night, they can prepare for a tough semi-final where the Norwegian rising stars Nils Gunnar Ringøen/Markus Mol will be waiting for their Swedish counterpart.
Martin Appelgren is looking forward to the final day of the tournament: “We were solid today and had good tactics. It took a few side changes to find the rhythm but then it felt extremely good. I must really point out that we have a great crowd here who supports us in a fantastic way. I am looking forward to entering the court tomorrow again.”
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