06.06.2021 - Vienna, Austria
Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen returned to the top of the podium of a World Tour event after exactly 37 months as they won the four-star tournament in Ostrava on Sunday. Two other European teams claimed medals in the Czech event.
Brouwer and Meeuwsen, who won the World Championships in 2013 and took the bronze medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics, had last triumphed in an international event on May 6, 2018, when they took gold in Huntington Beach, the United States.
The Dutch, who took bronze at the 2017 European Championships, had three 17ths and two ninths in the 2021 World Tour before the Ostrava tournament but battled until the end to defeat Czechs Ondrej Perusic and David Schweiner 2-1 (13-21, 21-19, 15-13) in front of their home crowd.
“We fought so hard for it this tournament,” Meeuwsen said. “We were really struggling all season so far, but we kept pushing and I’m so happy we won this. We were able to pull that off and I’m so happy with the way we kept fighting, we kept going for it and made it.”
The Dutch, who are guaranteed in the Tokyo Olympics, hope they can keep the high level they showed this week for two more months so they can hopefully get their second Olympic medal together.
“To win this tournament less than 50 days before Tokyo, it’s a big step forward,” Brouwer added. “But at the same time, it’s one result and we have to keep pushing and keep fighting like we’ve been doing. It takes a lot of work to perform at this level and we need to continue this if we want to do something big at the Olympics.”
Reigning world champions Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Viacheslav Krasilnikov of Russia had the opportunity of securing an all-European podium in Ostrava but the two, who took silver at last year’s EuroBeachVolley, fell to Brazilians Andre Loyola and George Wanderley 2-0 (27-25, 21-18) in the bronze medal match.
Europe also sent a team to the women’s final in Ostrava as reigning continental champions Joana Heidrich and Anouk Vergé-Dépré of Switzerland marched undefeated to the final in the Czech Republic. They lost, however, to Americans Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil, who had also won last week’s event in Sochi and recently qualified for the Olympics, 2-0 (21-18, 21-15) to settle for silver.
Brazilian veterans Carolina Salgado and Barbara Seixas completed the podium after they upset reigning world champions Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes of Canada 2-0 (21-15, 21-16) in the bronze medal match.
The World Tour remains in Europe next week as teams return to Sofia, Bulgaria, for another double-gender, one-star tournament.