Winners of Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Challenge Dubai pose with the dignitaries during the presentation ceremony.
The top-seeded Swedish pair of David Ahman and Jonatan Hellvig produced a dominant performance to win gold at the second Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Challenge event at Kite Beach in Dubai on Sunday.
The International Volleyball Federation organized the event with the support of the Dubai Sports Council and in collaboration with the Emirates Volleyball Association.
Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of the Dubai Sports Council, crowned the winners of the tournament in the presence of Nasser Aman Al Rahma, Assistant Secretary-General; Jamal Al Matrooshi, Vice President of the UAE Volleyball Federation; Lara Marich, Head of Hosting Volleyball World; and Ali Omar Al Balushi, Director of Events Management in the Council.
Ahmed Salem Al-Mahri, Director of the Sports Development Department at the Council; Fawzia Faridoun, Head of the Women’s Sports Department at the Council; Maitha Malik, Head of the Council’s Promotion Department; and Blair Harrison, from the Technical Committee of the International Volleyball Federation, were also present on the occasion.
Taking their six-game winning streak all the way to the top of the podium, Ahman and Hellvig captured their second gold and third overall medal on the Tour as they lifted the Kusadasi Challenge trophy in May and took bronze at the Maldives Challenge earlier this month.
Argentina’s Tomas Capogrosso and Nicolas Capogrosso settled for silver. It was the first outing as a pair for 27-year-old Olympian Nicolas and his 20-year-old brother Tomas. Taylor Crabb and Paul Lotman claimed the bronze.
The closely contested first set of the final saw leads exchanged on several occasions. Finally, the Swedes managed to win the opening set after a one-handed kill block by Hellvig.
Their Argentinean rivals tried to stage a comeback in the second set and leveled the score at 4-4, but later faded by committing unforced errors.
The Swedes shifted gears and extended their lead, eventually winning gold after a 2-0 (21-17, 21-12) victory.
“It sure feels amazing to be here and manage to win,” said 20-year-old Ahman after the final.
The top-seeded Isabel Schneider and Julia Sude won the women’s trophy at the second of two back-to-back Challenge events.
It was Germany’s first Challenge-level gold in either gender, and the first medal for this newly formed pair of 35-year-old Olympian Sude and 31-year-old Schneider.
For 2013 U-23 world champion Schneider, it was the first world-level gold of her entire senior career.
The silver medals went to 14th-seeded Molly Turner and Madelyne Anderson of the US.
Third-seeded Taravadee Naraphornrapat and Worapeerachayakorn Kongphopsarutawadee of Thailand snatched the bronze.