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2018-08-01 06:00:00 CET

Can the Vikings strike gold again?

Anders Mol and Christian Sørum reflect on their whirlwind adventure

Anders and Christian celebrate their success in GstaadAnders and Christian celebrate their success in Gstaad

They are, as they say so themselves “the team everyone wants to take down”.

As the A1 Major Vienna presented by Swatch press conference kicked off, Anders Mol and Christian Sørum were sitting in their seats still pinching themselves.

Two months ago, the Beachvolley Vikings had just returned from a career-best silver medal performance in Itapema, Brazil. From South America the pair traveled to Vienna and played volleyball 65 meters high on top of Vienna’s iconic Riesenrad Ferris wheel.

What’s happened since has been, in Anders’ words “crazy”.

First came the Swatch Major Gstaad gold where they became the youngest ever team to win a Beach Volleyball Major Series event and the first from Norway to clinch a World Tour title in 20 years.

The following week it got even better. They were crowned European Champions.

It’s hard to believe they are only 21 and 22. And that’s the worrying thing for the rest of the world. They’ve got age on their side – and they want to get better…

“What the hell?” exclaimed Anders, still trying to get his head around the rollercoaster few weeks. “We’re sitting at the press conference, we’ve been on the Riesenrad, we’ve won the last tournaments… we’ve kept our game stable and have now found our game. I think we’re playing better than ever.”

Forever thankful for this photoshoot! 😍🎡 @beachmajorseries you are crazy, can't wait to see what you guys come up with next time 😅 . . #ViennaMajor #VikingsOnTour #riesenrad #vienna #photoshoot @a1telekom

1,323 Likes, 9 Comments - Anders Mol (@andybmol) on Instagram: "Forever thankful for this photoshoot! 😍🎡 @beachmajorseries you are crazy, can't wait to see what..."

Their recent exploits have already seemingly impacted beach volleyball in Norway and helped put the sport back in the spotlight.

And that’s something the pair are hugely proud of.

“We’ve already seen in recent weeks that the girls [Ingrid Lunde and Osa Ulveseth] finished fourth in three-star in Toyko last weekend, while in the European Youth Championships there were two fifth places,” says Christians. “That’s a great achievement. Something exciting is happening.”

Anders agrees. “I hope this is a new era for beach volleyball in Norway,” smiles the blocker. “To get the sport back in the limelight is fantastic and I’m very proud to be the team that is part of taking Norway back to the top.”

With two gold medals around their necks from the last two tournaments it’s 13 games unbeaten for the popular pair.

So, with reputation and world ranking soaring, what do they expect when they hit the sand in Vienna for the first time?

“We’re never happy, we always to improve,” says Anders. “We got to the top of the Riesenrad and who thought that was possible? We have some pressure on ourselves but we know people are going to be out to beat us, we are the team everyone wants to beat. We won’t play with that mindset, we’ll let other people worry about us, not the other way round.”

While Anders and Christian have reveled in the glory of their achievements in recent weeks, it was heartening to hear the pair pay tribute to the other half of the Beachvolley Vikings team, Anders’ brother Hendrik and cousin Matthias Bernsten.

“We couldn’t have done it without them and I hope they feel the success themselves because this victory is for the whole team,” says Anders. “It’s not just for us, they are part of the team and we are really grateful for them being with us helping us. I hope they can understand this.

“They make us not think about volleyball all the time, they help us relax. We’re a good group and we love to hang out with each other. This social part of the team is very, very important to us all.”

Christian added: “They are our friends. They are family. Every day, in training, in the gym, traveling or off the court they are there for us and that’s what counts the most.”

Can Anders and Christian make it back-to-back Major Series titles? Found out this week and watch all of the action live on BeachStream. It’s only the beginning…

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