Swedes and US-Americans shine in Espinho

27.05.2024 - Espinho

The fourth of a total of seven Elite 16 events before the Olympic Games was another important milestone in the race for world ranking points and thus for the participation in Paris. Despite challenging wind conditions, the Swedes and US-Americans prevailed against strong competition and gained further points for the Olympics.

The Americans Nuss and Kloth, who had to settle for second place at the Elite16 in Brasília behind Ana Patrícia and Duda, got their revenge in the Espinho quarter-finals with a clear 2:0 win against the world number one from Brazil. After a 2:0 victory over Stam/Schoon in the semi-finals, the US duo faced the reigning European champions, Tanja Hüberli and Nina Brunner, in the game for gold. On their way to the final, the Swiss duo also won their semi-final against Spain's Álvarez M/Moreno 2:0. In the gold medal match, Hüberli/Brunner, who already won gold in Tepic this year, were unable to secure victory against the strong Kloth/Nuss despite six match points in the second set and ultimately had to admit defeat to the world number two after three sets (21:17, 26:28, 10:15). The Americans were thus able to celebrate their sixth gold medal on the tour. 

In the bronze medal match, the silver medalists from Tepic, Raïsa Schoon and Katja Stam, came out on top against Álvarez/Moreno with a clear 2:0 (21:18, 21:12).

In the men's competition, the reigning European champions Åhman/Hellvig celebrated a second gold medal of the season in Espinho, further strengthening their lead in the world rankings after their victory in Tepic. Ehlers/Wickler, currently number four in the world rankings, were unable to find a satisfactory response to the performance of the young Swedes and had to settle for the silver medal after two clear sets (21:16, 21:13). However, after three fourth places in a row at Elite16 tournaments, the joy of a podium finish will be all the greater. With a 2:0 victory (21:15, 30:28) in the bronze medal match over van de Velde/Immers from the Netherlands, Brazilians George/Andre were able to claim the last remaining spot on the podium. Consequently, the pair have made it onto the podium in each of their last three Elite16 tournaments.

The next Elite16, and the last one of the Olympic qualification period, will take place from June 5-9 in Ostrava. From July 9-14, the A1 Beach Pro Vienna in Vienna will be the final dress rehearsal before Paris, with the teams determined to present themselves in top form. Click here for the schedule, tickets can be found here