Nanjing, China, July 15, 2017 – Brazil’s Renato Andrew Lima de Carvalho and Adrielson Dos Santos Silva and Russia’s Aleksandr Kramarenko and Vasilii Ivanov enter the gold medal match at the 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Championships, mirroring the Brazil, Russia final also set in the women’s competition.
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Adrielson/Renato put in another masterful performance to secure their place in the final, against Latvia’s Kristaps Smits and Mihails Samoilovs. With both teams clearly enjoying the centre court match in front of the Nanjing crowd, Renato proved almost impenetrable at the net, despite Samoilovs fierce attacks.
In the second set, both teams switched it up and Latvia snatched points by setting low and playing quickly against Adrielson/Renato. But with a signature block Renato took the match point and Adrielson/Renato sail into the final, 2-0 (21-15, 21-16). Brazil's Renato Andrew Lima de Carvalho (green) and Mihails Samoilovs from Latvia
“I’m so happy, I trained so hard and this was my goal to get here and I got here,” said Adrielson.
“It was a really tough match, I already knew that it would be, we expected it. So we tried to do some things and then we switched it and in the end it worked in our favour,” said Adrielson.
Renato took gold in the U19 Larnaka World Championships last year and plays with Adrielson for the first time in Nanjing.
“Renato is the best player in the world in this category and it makes it easy for him. It’s feeling amazing and we also have a really good friendship,” said Adrielson.
The second semifinal saw Russians Aleksandr Kramarenko and Vasilii Ivanov meet Moritz Fabien Kindl and Marian Klaffinger from Austria.Kindl/Klaffinger have had an incredible run in Nanjing, getting knocked out in round 3 of the qualification and entering the main draw as lucky losers. In the quarterfinals the Austrian team faced powerful Mexican team Josue Gaston Gaxiola Leyva and Jose Angel Cardenas Valdez. In the physically and emotionally draining one hour match, the Austrians finally nailed it home to secure their semifinal spot, 2-1 (23-21, 20-22, 17-15).
In their semifinal against Kramarenko/Ivanov, the Austrians were figuring out how to get around the Russians who had the distinct height advantage and impressive coverage of the court. Kindl/Klaffinger got stuck at 12-11 and the Russians dominated the second half of the first set.
Russia's Vasilii Ivanov (left) and Aleksandr Kramarenko
Displaying their usual flare on the court, the Austrians could not get a foothold against the strong Russian attacks and despite an acrobatic Kindl save at match point, this day belonged to Kramarenko and Ivanov, 2-0 (21-11, 21-17).
“I don’t know what just happened. I’m so happy I just want to thank everyone, my partner, coach, mother, father, my coach back in Russia, everyone,” said Kramenko.
“The Austrian team has a very good service, very aggressive and very hard to return. They had very good defence, Kindl – amazing,” said Kramenko.
Russia's Vasilii Ivanov (blue) and Moritz Fabian Kindl from Austria
In the afternoon semifinal they had beaten Brazil’s other medal hopes, Gabriel Heilborn Gouveia and Rafael Jose Mendonca de Queiroz in the tie-break.
“I think we didn’t have very good reception or second touch because they had very strong serving. Also after our previous match against Brazil we were feeling pretty tired,” said Kramenko.
The bronze medal match between Smits/Samoilovs. M and Kindl/Klaffinger will take place before the final which will decide who is crowned this years champions.