Mol celebrates a point in the semifinal against Andre and George

New world champions will be crowned on Sunday in Rome after Norway’s Anders Mol and Christian Sorum and Brazil’s Vitor Felipe and Renato Lima are set to meet in the gold medal match of the Beach Volleyball World Championship 2022.

Norwegians and Brazilians will play in the final match of the ten-day tournament at the Foro Italico on Sunday, at 21.15 local time (19.15 GMT). Earlier, at 17.15 local time (15.15 GMT), Brazilians Andre Loyola and George Wanderley and Americans Theo Brunner and Chaim Schalk will play for the bronze medals in Rome.

· Watch all matches at the Rome 2022 World Championships live on Volleyball.tv.

The reigning Olympic champions Mol and Sorum are set to play in their first World Championship gold medal match after they topped FIVB World Ranking leaders Andre and George in the semifinal matchup that concluded Saturday’s schedule at the Foro Italico. The Beach Volley Vikings were in control of the first set and made good plays when it mattered to win the second on their way to securing a two-set (21-14, 21-18) victory.

Once again, the 24-year-old Mol was a factor at the net, producing six blocks to go with seven kills. Sorum had a difficult start and struggled with Andre’s blocking early on, but the 26-year-old found his rhythm in time to produce 18 kills.

“We’ve struggled with some injuries this season and we couldn’t play as much as we wanted,” Sorum reacted. “We lost some confidence by not being on the court, but we had a really good tournament in Ostrava, which was really important for us as a team. We started the World Championship feeling really well, but I don’t think our sport has ever had so many strong teams and making it to the final was not easy at all. We had so many tough matches to get here and we’re really grateful.”

In Rome, the Beach Volley Vikings could add another key trophy to their collection. Since 2018, the Norwegians have won 19 international tournaments, in a list that includes last year’s Tokyo Olympics, the 2018 and 2021 FIVB World Tour Finals and four editions of the European Championships. The World Championships, however, remain a target, after they took bronze in their only appearance, in 2019.

“This is the moment we’ve been waiting for, for a long time,” Mol said after their semifinal victory. “In 2009, we both watched the World Championships in Stavanger and that’s where our dream of being professional beach volleyball players started. To be here, at the Foro Italico, it’s a dream coming true already. Winning the World Championship gold is our season goal. We’re having a lot of fun playing in front of the fans here and can’t wait for the final.”

Vitor and Renato were flawless in the deciding moments of their semifinal duel against the Americans, coming up with dynamic plays which Brunner and Schalk had no answer to at the end of both sets. They won 2-0 (21-17, 21-19).

The youngest player on the court, the 22-year-old Renato came up big for the Brazilians, converting 16 points in kills and adding three blocks and one ace. The 31-year-old Vitor had 14 kills and one block.

“It’s the biggest moment of my career,” Vitor told Volleyball World. “We worked so hard to get here. Qualifying was already big for us, but once we were in, we were really determined to do well. One thing that’s great about our team is that when one of us is not playing so well, the other always steps up to help. Renato helped me a lot today, it felt like he was the veteran today and I was the young player. We will give everything we have to win gold tomorrow. It would mean the world for us.”


After their victory, Vitor and Renato climbed the stands of the Foro Italico to celebrate with their coaches

A three-time Age Group world champion, Renato is in a position to become the youngest player to ever win the World Championships if Vitor and him triumph in the gold medal match. The 1.92m-tall Brazilian wants to keep things simple as they head into the final against the Norwegians.

“When I enter the court, I try to leave everything else behind and just focus on doing my best and helping my partner,” he said. “I’m really happy with all we were able to do already, but at the same time, it’s just what we do every day in practice. We never give up and that’s the spirit of our team. My career is still very short, but this is for sure the best moment of it. We’re very happy to be here and will go for more in the final.”

If they win, Mol and Sorum will become the first team in their country to become world champions. For Vitor and Renato, a title in Rome would enable them to join a long list of Brazilian winners that features Guilherme Marques/Rogerio ‘Para’ Ferreira (1997), Emanuel Rego/Jose Loiola (1999), Ricardo Santos/Emanuel (2003), Marcio Araujo/Fabio Luiz Magalhaes (2005), Alison Cerutti/Emanuel (2011), Alison/Bruno Schmidt (2015) and Andre Loyola/Evandro Goncalves (2017).