• Id: 35111

Europeans sweep men's medals in Beach Volleyball 2015 opener

Meeuwsen, Brouwer, Flüggen, Böckermann, Krou, Rowlandson
(L-R) Robert Meeuwsen and Alexander Brouwer of the Netherlands, Germany's Lars Flüggen and Markus Böckermann and France's Youssef Krou and Edouard Rowlandson. European Volleyball Confederation / www…
European teams have swept the men's podium and claimed women's silver at the Beach Volleyball season opener.

Germans Markus Böckermann and Lars Flüggen shrugged off being seeded 13th and won the 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball Fuzhou Open, the first stop on the Beach Volleyball tour.

Böckermann and Flüggen defeated former world champions Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands 2-0 (21-19, 21-19) in the final in China.

French duo Youssef Krou and Edouard Rowlandson came back to beat Todd Rogers and Stafford Slick of the United States 2-1 (19-21, 21-17, 15-9) to claim the bronze medal.

Rogers and Slick overcame the top-seeded Reinder Nummerdor and Christiaan Varenhorst in the second round as the Dutch duo was forced to withdraw with a lower leg problem for Nummerdor.

"It's an Achilles, calf problem. We don't want to take any risks," Dutch head coach Gijs Ronnes was quoted as saying. "We don't know how long it will take to recover. We will go back to Holland and find out how serious it is. It's very disappointing, of course. First tournament, we want to do well."

The women's title was won by Canadians Jamie Lynn Broder and Kristina Valjas, who beat Germans Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude 2-0 (21-17, 23-21).

The Canadians, also seeded number 13 coming in, defeated second seeds and reigning champs Kerri Walsh and April Ross of the United States in the semi-finals. The third-seeded Laboureur and Sude beat top seeds Wang Fan and Yue Yuan in the semis.

The Fuzhou opened the FIVB season for the third straight year. The tournament also kicks off the Olympic qualification window for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Many of the European duos will compete at the Baku 2015 European Games.

Finnish women's duo Riikka Lehtonen and Taru Lahti, who lost in the second round, have already been nominated by their Olympic NOC to compete at Baku 2015.

There were also two women's teams from Azerbaijan at the Fuzhou Open. But neither Iuliia Karimova and Raquel Goncalves Ferreira nor Vivian Danielle Da Conceicao Cunha and Zinaida Lyubimova were able to win a game in Pool A or Pool C, respectively.


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