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Spain (M) and Estonia (W) pocket gold medals at 2008 World University Beach Volleyball Championship in Hamburg

Men's Finals

Drama and tension prevailed on the Centre Court of the 4th World University Beachvolleyball Championship which was filled up to the last place. In the men's final the players from Spain and Ukraine faced each other. The Spaniards Ariza Molina/De Amo Fernandez Echeverria who had thrown out the German team Dollinger/Lüdike from the tournament in the semi-finals, excelled during the entire WUBC with safe acceptance and attack play. Only once they had to give themselves struck in the main round against the Ukrainian team Kutsmus/Klyamar. In the final the two teams met one another for a second time, the Spaniards had the chance to a revenge. „We wanted to show that we could strike them”, said Ariza Molina shortly after the play. The Ukraine team had drawn unbeaten and easily favoured into the final, since they won the European University Championship earlier this year. In the first set they showed impressively their play strength. With enormous leap strength they went for point after point and won the first set dominant with 21:12.

Medal podium men

In the second set the Spaniards woke up and countered with sophisticated attacks. Ariza Molina/De Amo Fernandez Echeverria pulled ahead with 16:11. Finally they finished the second set with 21:16. The third set had to bring the final decision. None of the contractors could themselves set off and with equal steps they went up to 10:10. With a strong impact Andrij Kutsmus from the Ukraine guided the team and developed a well block to the 12:10. But the Spaniards fought themselves back in the match. Starting from the 12:12 the tendency could not be better on the centre court. Mexican waves and rhythmic applauding supported the athletes on the sunny centre court. In the final stage no team could achieve better so the spectators had seen powerful impressive ball changes. In addition a breeze of tension came, because the set offered 5 match balls for the Ukrainian and 4 match balls for the Spaniards. At the conclusion Ariza Molina/De Amo Fernandez Echeverria won the gold medal with 23:21. „We are overjoyed and cannot seize that we won the first gold medal for Spain with a WUBC“, said Jose Manuel Ariza Molina with a broad smile in his face.

Women's Finals

One winner already existed before the women final at the 2008 World University Beach Volleyball Championship in Hamburg started: The Bratuhhina family. The two twin sisters Natalja and Polina from Estonia accomplished well the peloton with their current partners. Particularly Natalja Bratuhhina and Mari-Liis Graumann impressed with their performance. They did not loose a game during the WUBC and only lost two sets – one in the final. Her sister Polina with her partner Kadri Puri have beaten the German team Flemig/Hüttermann and showed an impressive string of victories. In the quarter-final Polina played for the first time against her 70 minutes younger sibling Natalja. In 30 minutes and a clear 2:0 win of sets, the younger sibling beat the older one. “Our whole family is crazy about volleyball. My sister and I played together for a long time“, said Natalja smilingly.

Medal podium women

In the final her sister Polina did not feel like smiling. Even though they won the first set with 21:13, they lost the line of game. Serving mistakes, a defective defence let Natalja and Mari-Liis to a win of 21:18 in the second set. The spectators, filling every place on the centre court, saw a dominating team Bratuhhina/Graumann in the last set: “Although I am the older one who should have more experiences in volleyball I am loosing more often against my sister, lately”, commented Polina the 15:8 defeat. Hence the team Bratuhhina/Puri assured the silver medal while Natalja and Mari-Liis Graumann won gold at the 2008 World University Beach Volleyball Championship.

4th World University Beach Volleyball Championship

Hamburg, Germany - July 2nd to 6th, 2008

 

NUMBERS

Countries: 23

Male Athletes: 62

Female Athletes: 56

Officials: 54

Total Participants: 172

 

RESULTS