29.08.2020 - Vienna, Austria
After they won the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, Swedish Jonatan Hellvig and David Ahman were deservedly labeled as rising stars in the beach volleyball scene. This week, in Montpellier, they showed their rise might be even faster than many have anticipated.
The 18-year-old Swedes didn’t get bothered by older competition and secured their first World Tour victory as they triumphed in the one-star event that took place at the French coastal city after facing a handful of elite opponents during the three days of competition. It was the first time a Swedish team won a World Tour event.
Hellvig and Ahman’s campaign in Montpellier first turned some heads when they ousted Olympian Chilean cousins Marco and Esteban Grimalt in the quarterfinals. The 18-year-old prospects were challenged with another World Tour elite team in the gold medal match, the one of France’s Quincy Aye and Arnaud Gauthier-Rat, and again came out on top with a three-set victory (18-21, 21-17, 15-9).
“Montpellier is a really nice place to play,” Hellvig, who had won his first World Tour medal, a bronze with Ahman, in November, said. “We are delighted to have beaten Chile yesterday and France today in this final which is undoubtedly our biggest game of the week.”
The bronze medal also went to an up-and-coming team as 19-year-old Dutch Leon Luini, who was playing in his first World Tour event, and Matthew Immers, completed the podium following a 21-19, 24-22 victory over France’s Arnaud Loiseau and Timothee Platre.
The next World Tour event scheduled for this season is a one-star double-gender tournament in Vilnius, Lithuania, from September 10-13.