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Medals at Mollymook on Super Sunday

Medals at Mollymook on Super Sunday

The third stop of the Australian Beach Volleyball Tour saw Mollymook save the best until last, with new champions crowned under the clearest skies of the tournament.

Stefanie Fejes and Jana Milutinovic delivered a blistering performance in the women’s final against the Japanese pairing of Suzuka Hashimoto and Reika Murakami, claiming back-to-back golds after winning in Cobram earlier this month.

Leading 22-20, 20-17, the Australian pair appeared to have won, however in a show of great character and sportsmanship, Milutinovic told the umpires that she had touched the ball before it went out, awarding the point to her opponents.

Despite the second chance, a service error on the very next point ultimately saw Hashimoto and Murakami defeated by the Australian pair.

“It felt right, it should have been their point, they earned it. I’d prefer to win off a point that I’ve won,” said Milutinovic.

Having finished with silver in the opening tournament of the season, Fejes and Milutinovic have dropped only one set since, setting them up perfectly for the Beach Pro Tour Futures event which starts on Wednesday.

“It’s very exciting to win back-to-back tournaments,” said Fejes. “It’s going to give us a lot of confidence moving forwards.

“With Futures next weekend being an international tournament, it’s going to be full-on from the very beginning. We’re going to take it one game at a time and keep building.

After a tough loss in this morning’s semi-finals, top seeds Jasmine Fleming and Georgia Johnson came from a set down to win the bronze medal match, keeping their perfect podium record for the season intact.

The Men’s gold medal match was a rematch of the final in Cobram with Izac Carracher and Mark Nicolaidis facing off with Paul Burnett and Jack Pearse.

The clash between the top seeded pairs saw an early medical timeout for Carracher, who bravely returned to play after five minutes with strapping on his left knee, however Pearse and Burnett were able to easily claim the first set.

The Cobram champions kept their hopes of back-to-back wins by taking the second set, setting up a grandstand finish.

In the third set it was Pearse who required a medical timeout, however it didn’t appear to slow him down with the second seeds triumphing 15-11 to win their first Tour title.

“I had to pull something special out for that game, I was feeling it in four different areas towards the end there,” said Pearse.

“Paul played a great game and made my job really easy. I could come in and set the ball and I knew he was just going to put it away, so credit to the partner for sure.”

For Commonwealth Games gold medallist Burnett, the match is not one he will forget in a while.

“What a crazy game, two medical timeouts in the one game, you don’t see that too often,” he said.

“I’m really stoked that we were able to grind it out. Jack played really well and we pushed through and came out with the win.”

In the men’s bronze medal match, eighth seeds Mateusz Zieba and Sam Halley defeated Garang Anyang and Justin Schumann in a close fought victory 2-0 (21-19, 21-18).

There’s plenty more action to come in Mollymook with the Australian Junior Beach Volleyball Tour starting tomorrow, immediately followed by the Beach Pro Tour Futures event on Wednesday.

2023/24 Australian Beach Volleyball Tour
Round 3 | Mollymook, Mollymook Beach, NSW
23-25 February 2024

Elite Women
Gold Medal Match: Jana Milutinovic/Stefie Fejes d Suzuka Hashimoto/Reika Murakami 2:0 (22-20, 21-18)
Bronze Medal Match: Jasmine Fleming/Georgia Johnson d Megumi Murakami/Riko Tsujimura 2:1 (18-21, 21-17, 15-11)

Elite Men
Gold Medal Match: Jack Pearse/Paul Burnett d Mark Nicolaidis/Izac Carracher 2:1 (21-11, 16-21, 15-11)
Bronze Medal Match: Mateusz Zieba/Sam Halley d Garang Anyang/Justin Schumann 2:0 (21-19, 21-18)

Women Challenger Division 1
Gold Medal Match: Mireille Smith/Remy Song d Luca Altevogt/ Madeleine Russo 2:0 (21-17, 21-15)
Bronze Medal Match: Takemi Nishibori/Sayaka Yamada d Chantal Tung/Caitlin Cockburn 2:0 (21-17, 21-8)

Men Challenger Division 1
Gold Medal Match: Dakota Lipton/Klaas Mcintosh d Adax Brienen/Lasse Froehlich 2:0 (21-13, 21-12)
Bronze Medal Match: Patrick Tang/Jack Gregory d Benjamin Schickinger/Noah Furrer 2:0 (21-18,21-14)

Women Challenger Division 2
Gold Medal Match: Michelle Kopecka/Ludimila Brunorio d Lina Mueller/Jolie Du Plessis (1) 2:0 (21-16, 21-7)
Bronze Medal Match: Lara Limbrick/Lilyana Stanojevic d Emily Retschko/Olivia Jury 2:1 (21-11, 19-21, 15-12)

Men Challenger Division 2
Gold Medal Match: Levi Beard/Cooper Ryan d Nigel Lamont/Rene Mrva 2:0 (21-18, 22-20)
Bronze Medal Match: Nathan Malloy/Dario Tarquini d Robertas Klimasauskas/Lucas Paulino 2:0 (21-13, 21-20)

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