Austrian youngsters score silver at U21 world championships

13.11.2023 - Roi Et, Thailand

In the tropical city of Roi Et, the U21 world championships just finished with not one, but two all-European podiums.

After the gold medal match against the Belgian duo Van Langendonck/Vercauteren, the Austrian youngsters Hammerberg/Berger emerged as silver medalists once again. The two 19-year-olds also claimed the silver medal at the U20 European Championships in Riga back in August. However, after a tight three-set match, they had to admit defeat to the Belgians in a tie-breaker. The bronze medal went to French up-and-comers Canet/Rotar, who had recently won gold at the U20 European Championships against Hammarberg/Berger. They beat the Brazilians Pedro/Henrique in a three-set match and secured the all-European men’s podium.

The women’s tournament finished with another all-European podium, this time with Dutch youngsters Desy Poiesz and Brecht Piersma on top. Just back in August, Brecht finished fifth with Emi van Driel at the EuroBeachVolley in Vienna after a match against Ludwig/Lippmann. However, this time she wouldn’t settle for anything less than gold and defeated the Swiss duo Kernen/Niederhauser in straight sets (21-14, 21-16). The podium was completed with Polish duo Ciezkowska/Lunio. In the bronze medal match they were up against Chinese duo Yan/Zhou, the only Asian team in the competition to have made it this far into the tournament. Though the Chinese won the first set (21-17), cheered on by the local crowd, the Dutch duo held their own and topped them in the second set (21-18). They started the third set strong with a 3-0 start, but then the play had to be stopped as Yan winced in pain and the Chinese had to concede the bronze medal to Ciezkowska/Lunio.

An honorable fifth place was claimed by Austrians Magdalena Rabitsch and Anja Trailovic. The team that had won a total of five tie-breakers during the event advanced to the quarterfinals, where they were ultimately defeated by Ciezkowska/Lunio. This was the duo’s last age-group tournament, and their last season, as a team as Rabitsch will go on to play college beach volleyball in America.