Latvia’s leading women’s beach volleyball pair Anastasija Kravčenoka / Tīna Graudiņa succeeded in her second game in Jūrmala on Wednesday and won the first place in subgroup E.
In the second game of Group E, Graudiņa / Kravčenoka, who were placed with the fifth number, defeated the Russian athletes Ksenija Dabižis and Darya Rudihas (21st) with 2-1 (21:16, 19:21, 15:10).
At the beginning of the game, the Latvian duo took the lead with 4: 0, but the opponents soon lost the lead, reaching 8: 9. Continuing the set, Kravčenoka used strong winds and, on the upwind side, performed strong and difficult services, which made it safer 13:10. Graudiņa also played successfully at the top of the net and managed to win the set with 21:16.
At the beginning of the second set, after Kravčenoka’s mistake, the result became 2: 2, but then the Latvians got some more technical defects, as a result of which the Russians took the lead with 9: 5. After the technical break, the Latvian duo was able to break the three-point deficit, reaching 12:12, but shortly afterwards, they took the lead – 15:14. A moment later, after the dubious decision of the Italian judge, Kravčenoka / Graudiņa came into the lead (15:17), but then played a three-point deficit and reached 19:19. The Russian athlete celebrated the victory with 21:19.
In the third set, Rudiha made several mistakes, which put the Latvians in the lead with 6: 1. In the continuation of the game, the Latvians showed a more convincing performance, and Graudiņa made an accurate shot after the first pass, reaching 11: 5. After Rudiha’s mistake, the Latvian duo scored the 13th point, but shortly afterwards they managed to win the game with 15:10.
The leading Latvian women’s duo in subgroup E won the first place and tomorrow the competition will continue in the elimination tournament.
It has already been reported that European ex-champions Jānis Šmēdiņš / Aleksandrs Samoilovs, who have been awarded the 16th number, won the 17th number of the tournament, Kusti Nelvaks and Marta Tīsārs from Estonia, 2-0 (21:17, 21:18). Meanwhile, at the same time, Marcis Jirgensons and Rinalds Aišpurs (27th) also fought in the third field, which were opposed by the world‘s former champions – the Dutch duo Aleksandrs Brouvers / Roberts Mēvsens (6th).
The 27th issue of the tournament in the F-group game with 0-2 (10:21, 13:21) gave way to the Dutch.
In the tournament with the fourth number, the duo Mārtiņš Pļaviņš / Edgars Točs defeated Belgian volleyball players Driss Kokelkoren and Toms van Vallis (29th) in the first field with D-0 2-0 (21:16, 21:19), who left Latvians behind in the Utrecht semi-final. , finishing fourth in the final. Matīss Gabduļins / Artūrs Rinkevičs received a technical loss 0-2 (0:21, 0:21) for not coming to the game against the Spaniards Pablo Erers and Adrian Gavir (9th).
Latvians could not participate in this game because Gabduļins / Rinkevičs found out about the opportunity to play in Jūrmala only on Tuesday evening. Athletes passed the Covid-19 test, but an answer is not yet expected. Gabduulin / Rinkevich is expected to take part in the tournament tomorrow.
Meanwhile, in the ladies’ competition, Marta Ozolina and Luīze Skrastiņa in the second duel of group B with 0-2 (13:21, 8:21) gave way to Russian volleyball players Jekaterina Birlova / Jevgenija Ukulova, who were placed with the number 15. Less than an hour after the B group, Krista Paegle / Kristīne Briede, who was assigned the 26th number, also went to the Duel Square. They gave up 0-2 (15:21, 18:21) to the German duo Kim Byren / Sinja Tilmane, who were sown with the tenth number.
Finally, in subgroup F, U-20 champions Anete Namiķe and Varvara Brailko (27th) lost 0-2 (17:21, 16:21) to the French duo Alexander Župite / Alina Šamero, who was sown with number 22.
All three Latvian women’s duos took fourth place in their subgroups and finished the tournament in the divided 25th position.
This time in a group tournament, each team does not play with everyone. The winners of the first game determine the winner in the group, who immediately enters the second round of the playoffs, and the losers – in the continuation of the “excess” team competition.
The European Beach Volleyball Championship in Jūrmala takes place from September 15 to 20. The tournament for 32 pairs of men and women brings together the best European men’s beach volleyball duets from 15 countries and women’s pairs from 13 countries.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the tournament is eligible for one of the strongest tournaments of the season in terms of status in the world.
The main contenders for the women’s tournament are the Swiss – Tanja Hübler / Nina Becart and Joan Heidrich / Anuka Verge-Depré, the Olympic champion Laura Ludviga from Germany, who plays with Margaret Kozuh, and Sanne Kaizere and Madeleine Mepelinka from the Netherlands Hermanova. The current champions are Graudiņa with Kravčenok.
In the men’s competition, the title is defended by the world-leading leaders from Moscow, Annešs Mūls and Kristians Serums, who won in Moscow. World champions from Russia Vyacheslav Krasilnikov and Oleg Stoyanovsky want to win, world vice-champions from Germany Julius Tole and Clemens Wickler, world champions – Dutch duo Alexander Brower / Robert Erzwo Adrian Gavira, as well as other powerful foreign duos.
Although the Olympic rankings related to the Covid-19 pandemic were frozen on March 16 this year, the European Championship is traditionally one of the tournaments in which teams compete for Olympic ranking points.
Volleyball players also compete for a total prize pool of 200,000 euros.
The decision to organize the competition in Latvia was made at the meeting of the Board of the European Volleyball Confederation (CEV) on July 7, 2020.
In the previous European Championship in Jūrmala in 2017, Jānis Šmēdiņš and Aleksandrs Samoilovs became vice-champions. In August 2017, Šmēdiņš with Samoilov reached the final, where he lost to the Italians Daniel Lupo and Paolo Nikola, but at that time Graudiņa and Kravčenoka, as well as Mārtiņš Pļaviņš with Harald Regza, won the surprisingly high fifth place.