The Hague, The Netherlands, July 5, 2015 – Can Brazil add an eleventh gold medal to their impressive FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships honour list? Or will home favourites Reinder Nummerdor and Christiaan Varenhorst be able to prevent this and claim back-to-back gold for the Netherlands?
That is the big question this evening, when the Dutch take on Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt in the purpose built stadium on the floating pontoon on the Hofvijver in The Hague. One thing is for sure, Nummerdor and Varenhorst will have the full support of 5,500 orange-clad and roaring fans.
Brazil and the Netherlands will meet in the World Championships final for the second time in history. In the previous edition in Stare Jablonki in 2013 Dutchies Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen defeated Brazil’s Alvaro Filho and Ricardo Santos 2-0 (21-18, 21-16).
Since the first officially recognized edition of the two-yearly World Championships in 1997 In Los Angeles, Brazil has won five gold medals in the men’s competition and five in the women’s, the last one captured by Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas on Saturday.
The Americans are trailing with five gold medals, four in the women’s and one in the men’s. Argentina (men), Germany (men), China (women) and the Netherlands (men) all claimed one in the previous nine editions.
Brazil won back-to-back gold medals in the men’s competition in 1997 and 1999 and again in 2003 and 2005. In the women’s tournament Brazil won three editions in a row (1997, 1999 and 2011) and the USA four times in a row (2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009).
The 42-year old Brazilian legend Emanuel Rego, who finished 9th with Ricardo Santos this week in the Netherlands, is leading the individual medal ranking with three gold medals. His first title dates back to 1999 (Marseille), when he won the tournament with Jose Loiola. In 2003 (Rio de Janeiro) he ended on top with Ricardo Santos and in 2011 (Rome) he won gold with today’s finalist Alison Cerutti.
USA’s Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor are leading the women’s individual ranking with three back-to-back golds in 2003, 2005 (Berlin) and 2007 (Gstaad). May-Treanor has retired, but 36-year old Walsh participated in the Netherlands with April Ross, finishing 9th in Amsterdam.