Mol/Sorum and Bryl/Fijalek lead the way at World Championships

Hamburg, Germany, June 30, 2019 - Anders Mol/Christian Sorum of Norway and Michal Bryl/Grzegorz Fijalek of Poland continued their winning ways on the Am Rothenbaum Stadium centre court here Sunday after posting wins over German pairs  at the US$1-million FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships presented by comdirect & ALDI Nord.

The Norwegian and Poles finished one-two on the Am Rothenbaum Stadium centre court last August at the FIVB World Tour Finals and the two teams entered this week's World Championships as the top two-ranked teams on the international beach volleyball circuit.

Bryl and Fijalek secured their second win this weekend with a 2-1 (21-17, 16-21, 15-9) Pool B win over 26th-seeded Philipp Bergmann/Yannick Harms of Germany to start centre court play Sunday and five hours later Mol and Sorum secured a 2-0 (21-18, 21-16) Pool A victory in 40 minutes over 25th-seeded Jonathan Erdmann/Sven Winter of Germany.

Anders Mol (right) of Norway hits against Jonathan Erdmann of Germany

Both top-ranked teams are now tied for first in their group as Bryl and Fijalek are challenged by 23rd-seeded Martins Plavins/Edgars Tocs of Latvia at 4 p.m. (local time) Tuesday with Mol and Sorum meeting 24th-seeded Vitor Felipe/Pedro Solberg of Brazil at 5 p.m.

"We will be playing a very strong Latvian team," said Fijalek about Plavins and Tocs. "They beat us two weeks ago in Warsaw, so we know they can handle of the pressure of playing in a big match. We'll have to play a lot better Tuesday against them."

At the Warsaw Open on June 15, Plavins and Tocks posted a 2-0 (23-21, 21-18) elimination win over Bryl and Fijalek for their first win in four meetings with the Polish pair. The first win in the series was in Hamburg last August at the World Tour Finals when Bryl and Fijalek scored a 2-1 (21-19, 17-21, 15-9) pool play win.

As for Mol and Sorum, who have defeated Bryl/Fijalek in four gold medal matches in Austria, Germany, the United States and Brazil since August 2018, the Norwegians will be meeting Vitor Felipe and Pedro for the second time after defeating the Brazilians in the Warsaw Open.

"Any time you play a Brazilian team, it is always tough," said Mol.  "Although they are a new team, they are Brazilians with a lot of experience playing internationally. It is important to note that we have experience playing them, so that will help our preparation. It will be an entertaining match for the fans."

The men's portion of the FIVB World Championships continues through next Sunday when the medal matches will be played on the Am Rothenbaum Stadium center court with the gold medal team sharing the $60,000 first-place prize.  The women's finale is Saturday.


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