The teams Arnaud Gauthier-Rat / Arnaud Loiseau (France) and Puk Stubbe / Katjia Zwaanswijk (Netherlands) in the WEVZA U21 Beach Volleyball Tournament and Diogo Pereira / Bruno Santiago (Portugal) and Lena Günther / Andrea Harbring (Germany) in the U19 event, won today the WEVZA tournaments organized by the Portuguese Volleyball Federation with the support of the Macedo de Cavaleiros City Hall, that were held in Praia da Ribeira at Albufeira do Azibo.

In the U21 men’s final Arnaud Gauthier-Rat and Arnaud Loiseau, 5th ranked in the 2014 U19 World Championships held in Porto, returned to Portugal to rise to the highest place in the podium and ended with the expectations which Francisco Pombeiro / Jose Jardim had in wining in front of their public.
Thrilled with their “first international triumph”, Arnaud & Arnaud highlighted “the difficulties created by the Portuguese teams, both in the pool phase (Diogo Maia / Tomas Silva) as in the final” adding between smiles “even having to play the last match with the public against us”.

Rising to the podium in our first international tournament, wining the silver medal, and mainly due to the way we played, since we always gave our best on the court against all of our opponents, demonstrates that we evolved as a team and that as to please us” said Pombeiro and Jardim.

Tim Stöhr and Manuel Harms, from Germany, ranked 3rd by defeating, 2-0, the Dutch Jasper Bouter (winner in last year’s edition) and Tom Van Steenis.

In the U21 women’s final, the Dutch team Joy Stubbe / Loladina Zwaanswijk defeated the French Alexia Richard / Lezana Placette.
The new champions that played together their first international competition were surprised but equally satisfied with the gold medal.
Aline Chamreau / Ophélie Lusson ranked third in the competition by defeating (2-0) the Germans Lisa Kozcian / Leonie Welsch.

The fifth place went to the Spanish Aida Etxebarria / Nerea Izagirre (the winning team from 2014), that defeated the German Constanze Bieneck / Sophie Nestler, while Mariana Maia / Francisca Silva took the 7th place after the forfeit, due to injury, of the other Portuguese team Vanessa Paquete / Gabriela Coelho.

Diogo Pereira and Bruno Santiago achieved the first gold medal in WEVZA competitions for Portugal.
In the U19 men’s semi final, they won against the German’s Stoob / Reinhardt by 2-1, coming from a 0-1 set disadvantage and having suffered a small fright with the momentary indisposition of one of the players. Obviously pleased with the first place n the podium, Diogo and Bruno confessed their surprise in being able to overcome teams with a physical stature clearly superior to theirs.

Matt Binder / Vincent Freytag (GER) ranked third in the event wining by 2-0 against the Portuguese Joao Pedrosa and Joao Alves.
The Germans were happy with the result and with the competition: “The bronze medal it’s a good result, which we weren’t expecting because even though we have teams from only three countries, there are teams here in the competition with an already remarkable level of play. We are pleased with the third place and also to be able to play in such a beautiful venue”.

Although they are not completely satisfied with the match result, the young Portuguese team have nevertheless a positive assessment:
“The fourth place ended up by being a good performance, since we are very young, even though the feeling that we could have done better remains. We reached the semi finals, where we faced another Portuguese team, that we know very well and therefore it was a match that could go either way, but they were stronger and won, as well as the Germans were in this last match, in which we accused some fatigue. We enjoyed very much the competition, that had good teams, and also the venue and we will be back next weekend to Macedo to play the National championships.”

In the women’s event Lena Günther / Andrea Harbring won (2-0: 21-18, 21-17) against the other team from Germany, Leonie Körtzinger / Viktoria Seeber, regarded as the number 1 German team.
“We are very happy and also surprised with this gold medal. We had a though match in the final, against a more experienced team and also from our country. Someone had to win and we are glad it was us” they said.

The Portuguese team Barbara Freitas / Sara Lourenço tried to give one more joy to the public, but ended up by losing (0-2) against the Dutch Puk Stubbe / Katja Stam, even though their recovery in the second set that created some expectations amongst the fans.
In the end Barbara and Sara recognised that the fourth place wasn’t enough, but it’s an excellent motivation for a promising even if newly formed team.