28.09.2020 - Vienna, Austria
Just a few weeks before the suspension of sports due to the coronavirus pandemic, the young beach volleyball team of Andre Loyola and George Wanderley had just been crowned as the champions of the 2019-2020 Brazilian Tour season.
Six months later, a lot has changed in the world, but apparently not their game as the 2017 world champion Andre and the Under-19 and Under-21 world champion George topped the podium of this weekend’s event in Saquarema, which marked the return to the sand and the start of the 2020-2021 season for the country’s men’s duos.
Andre, 26, and George, 24, faced one of the country’s new teams, the one of Guto Carvalhaes and Arthur Mariano in the final, and used their chemistry to down their opponents 21-18, 21-14 and take the title of the tournament held inside the Brazilian Federation’s training center.
“We have to thank our coaching staff a lot because of how well they prepared us for this tournament, especially considering the pandemic,” George commented. “It was really important for us to return with a victory. We lost a match early in the tournament, but managed to find our way in the elimination bracket and we need to be ready for it to happen other times in the season because the tour is very competitive.”
The defending champions were responsible for the elimination of Olympic champion Alison Cerutti and Olympian-to-be Alvaro Filho in the quarterfinals. Evandro Goncalves and Bruno Schmidt, who as Alison and Alvaro are guaranteed at next year’s Tokyo Olympics, exited the tournament in the first elimination round, ranking ninth.
Three-time Youth world champion Renato Lima, 20, and 23-year-old defender Adrielson Silva secured the third spot at the podium in their first tournament after they downed another debuting team, the one of Saymon Barbosa and Hevaldo Sabino in the three-set (19-21, 21-17, 15-1) bronze medal match.
The Brazilian Tour will return to Saquarema next month, with the women competing between October 15-18 and the men hitting the sand from 22-25.