Rio Olympic Games bronze winners and former world champions Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen returned to winner’s circle after almost a year when the Dutch pair rallied from a set down to win the 4-Star Katara Beach Volley Cup on Saturday.
Ninth seeds Brouwer and Meeuwsen lost the opening set to Russian upstarts Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Igor Velichko but they used their vast experience to wrap up a 20-22, 21-14, 15-11 victory in the final at the Katara Amphitheater.
Qatar Olympic Committee Secretary-General Jassim Rashid Buenain, QVA President Ali Ghanim al Kuwari and Katara Cultural Village Foundation General Manager Dr Khalid bin Ibrahim al Sulaiti were present during the podium ceremony and presented the awards and trophies.
Fresh from having beaten the Russian 15th seeds en route to their fifth place in the Fort Lauderdale Major last week, Brouwer and Meeuwsen shared $20,000, while the losers, playing in their second event on the World Tour, took home $16,000.
Doha, Qatar, March 10, 2018 – Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen won their first FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour gold of 2018 when they defeated Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Igor Velichko in the 4-Star KATARA Beach Volleyball Cup gold medal match on Saturday.
Brouwer said after the victory, “We played them last week in the Fort Lauderdale Major and had beaten them in straight sets. But they may be a new and young team, they played amazingly here,” whole tournament.
The triumph also ended the title wait for the 2013 world champions Dutch, who last won the 3-Star Xiamen Open in April last year and had not even played any final.
“Alexander was injured and we took easy so that he can recover,” Brouwer added after claiming the 10th Tour medal. The winners had started the year with a third place at the home event Dela Beach Open in The Hague (4-Star).
“We started off really well in the beginning of the first set, but we let them back at the end of the first set with our mistakes,” Meeuwsen said. “We kept going forward and going for the next point.
“We stayed cool even if it was a final and I’m really happy with how we played.”
They were 19-14 up in the opening set but allowed the Russians to claw their way back and win it when Meeuwsen netted his service and Stoyanovskiy effected a block.
Stoyanovskiy and Velichko were playing in their first World Tour gold medal match since they teamed up as a pair at the start of the year. But the Dutch dominated the rivals and kept collecting point after point to tie the set scores 1-1 and then closed out the match with an ace from Brouwer.
“We are very happy because we played very well this week,” Stoyanovskiy, the 2014 Youth Olympic champion, said. “We had to play a very high level of volleyball because of the teams that were here, and that is the key for us to play well and then we can worry about the medals.”
Alexander Brouwer/ Robert Meeuwsen Netherlands (9) def. Oleg Stoyanovskiy/ Igor Velichko Russia (15) 20-22, 21-14, 15-11 (0:46)