Men’s Beach Volleyball: Brazil wins gold, German Twins settle for Silver



WUHAN (CHN) - The men’s beach volleyball competition at the 7th CISM Military World Summer Games in Wuhan came to an end after a grand finale, with Team Brazil squaring off against Team Germany on the sand court. With 2016 Olympic Champion Bruno Oscar Schmidt, who teamed up with Evandro Junior, Team Brazil had an edge.

“This competition is different than what I expected,” says gold medal winner Bruno Oscar Schmidt, the right-side defender of Team Brazil. The Olympic champion is currently preparing for Tokyo 2020 to defend his title and this victory is a nice confidence booster. “These Games have been so well organized and have almost the same level as the Olympics in Rio, it’s just amazing. Playing tournaments like this is very satisfying. Reaching the final in an important event is always fantastic. Winning gold for my country in this competition makes me feel very proud,” the Navy sergeant comments. The first set against the Germans was close, but in the second Team Brazil created a gap. “We knew they had an excellent side out, a lot of skills and energy. We had to put in everything we had to clinch that gold … and we did,” ends Bruno.



 Twins teaming Up

 “It’s awesome that a great number of our delegation members came to this venue to support us in the final,” says David, Poniewaz. “It feels very nice to have this kind of support, although we lost, but that’s also part of the game.” The final match was a thriller. A very tight first set with the score equally adding up where the Brazilians took a win. “We managed to follow our opponents in the second set halfway, but then they created a gap we couldn’t bridge anymore,” his brother Bennet added. “They played very well. They deserved the victory.”



Participating at these Military Games as brothers – twins even – in the same sport … what are the odds? “Honestly, we don’t think about that,” says David. “We’ve been playing together our whole life, and it’s not really different here. However, the place and the event itself, teaming up as brothers at these Games, that of course is fantastic. It’ so big, such a great experience, we never played in such a major sport event before.”

Although the Brazilians always got ahead in the game, the German twins managed to get back closing the breach, until those last minutes. Their tactics? “We just play our best and play until the very end and we never look back. That’s how we play our game and how we won the German national championship this year,” states Bennet. “We’re looking at it point after point,” his brother adds.

Did they choose beach volleyball so they could team up as twins? “Actually, we never thought about that,” they laugh in unison. “Probably, maybe, it might have been undeliberate …,” they say. “Eight years ago, we had this opportunity to play together. It worked out well and we continue to do so. We’re pretty proud of what we accomplished so far.” The twins are indeed inseparable. Also, in the German Army they work together.



Sweet Taste of Bronze

Sometimes bronze can taste as sweet as gold … As it was the case for the men’s beach volleyball team from Oman, who beat Team China on their home turf in another thrilling bronze medal game. The Omani players won the first and third set, letting the second slip away when their focus lessened. “The Chinese team is one of the best in Asia and they also play on the World Tour. It was not an easy match. Being able to win here gives such a great feeling to our entire delegation, especially after beating the home team which was cheered by the many Chinese fans here in the stadium,” Mazin Sulaiman commented via his interpreter. In the second set the Chinese came back into the game winning the set. “Our opponents put a lot of pressure there. Luckily, we could retaliate and got back in our game in the last set pocketing the bronze. A great feeling!”



Fair-Play Award

The team of Sri Lanka got awarded with the Fair-Play Trophy.



Excellent Tournament

“At these Military Games, this men’s competition was of a very high level,” says Colonel José Carlos Pinheiro, CISM PCSC Volleyball & Beach Volleyball. “The athletes present were well prepared, some of them played at the Olympics. Furthermore, the facilities were amazing, all of international standard. I’m happy with the result of this tournament.”


(Source: CISM Media and Communication Department – Journalist & Pictures:  Christian Pierre)