St. Pölten, Austria, May 19, 2007 - It will be Greece vs. Norway for the women’s gold medal, respectively, after they won their semi-final matche here Saturday in the season-opening European Championship Tour event.
Nila Ann Hakedal and Ingrid Torlen will be seeking their first-ever European Championship Tour gold medal when the Norwegians challenge Vassiliki Arvaniti and Vasso Karadassiou of Greece for the EUR$11,050 first-place prize in first of six women’s events on the European Beach Volleyball calendar this season.
Hakedal and Torlen, who placed second, fourth, second and third in four European Championship Tour events last season, advanced to the finals by defeating Liesbeth Mouha and Liesbet Van Breedam of Belgium 22-20 and 21-12 in the semi-finals. Mouha and Van Breedam gained a spot in the “final four” by upsetting Germany’s Stephanie Pohl and Okka Rau in an elimination match Saturday. Pohl and Rau were the top team on the 2006 European Championship Tour.
Arvaniti and Karadassiou, the 2005 European Championship Tour champions and winners of four European events the past two seasons, gained a spot in the gold medal match with a 21-18 and 21-16 win over the Nystrom twins (Emilia and Erika) of Finland.
The top European players return to SWATCH-FIVB World Tour action next week with the women competing in Singapore The next stop on the European Championship Tour is May 31-June 3 in Moscow. After other events in Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the European Championship Tour concludes with the continental championships August 23-26 in Valencia, Spain.
FRANK UIJLENBROEK WORLDSPORTPICS