Timisoara, Romania, August 19, 2014. Serbia’s women’s duo Milena Matic / Isidora Egic and the men’s pair from Turkey Murat Giginoglu / Volkan Gogtepe became the first winners on the 2014 BVA Beach Volleyball Balkan Championship tour, claiming the gold medals from the tournament in Timisoara.
The double-elimination main draw in the western Romanian city featured 12 teams per gender coming from six different Balkan Volleyball Association member countries – Bulgaria, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Serbia and Turkey.
In the women’s tournament, Matic / Egic shut out Moldova’s Polina Idjilova / Ecaterina Arabadji by 2:0 (21-15, 21-17) in the final to claim the top spot on the podium, with both finalists surprisingly coming into the semis through the losers’ bracket. In the bronze medal battle, Bulgaria’s Asya Dinova / Svetla Angelova overpowered the other Serbian duo, Nina Skaric / Aleksandra Frajtovic, by 2:1 (17-21, 21-16, 15-7).
On the men’s side, Giginoglu / Gogtepe went through the entire tournament without losing a single set in their five games. In the final match, they defeated Serbia’s Miljan Kikovic / Stefan Basta by 2-0 (21-14, 21-15) and deservedly took the gold medals. Greece’s duo Georgios Kotsilianos / Nikos Zoupanis ended up with the bronze after winning the third place match by 2:0 (21-13, 21-15) against Turkey’s other tandem, Selcuk Sekerci / Hasan Huseyin Mermer, who had also gone through the first three rounds without losing any sets, but were then shut out in both their final-four games.
The 2014 BVA Beach Volleyball Balkan Championship tour for men and women will feature a total of three tournaments with the second one coming up in Kardzhali, Bulgaria from August 29 through 31 and the third taking place in Belgrade, Serbia from September 5 through 7.
Click here for more information on the Balkan Championships.