Brighton, England, September 7, 2008 - Marleen Van Iersel realized her gold medal aspirations at a SWATCH FIVB Junior/Youth World Championship event here Sunday as she teamed with Daniëlle Remmers to capture the title for women under the age of 21 in the All-Netherlands finale on Brighton Beach.
Van Iersel, who was playing in her ninth FIVB Junior/Youth world finale since first competing internationally for the first-time in 2003, and Remmers scored a 21-14 and 21-14 win in 32 minutes over 23rd-seeded compatriots Sophie Van Gestel and Michelle Stiekema in the finals after winning semi-final matches earlier Sunday.
A bronze medal winner at the past two worlds for players under the age of 21 with Marloes Wesselink in Italy and Poland, Van Iersel was teaming with Remmers on a FIVB podium as the pair was second at the 2006 U19s in Bermuda. Van Iersel won the European U20 gold medals in 2005 and 2007 with Remmers and Wesselink, respectively.
“I will always remember Brighton since I finally claimed gold at my last junior’s event,” said the 20-year old Van Iersel, who was named the SWATCH most outstanding player this week. “Since it takes two players to win a title, I credit my partner for playing very well this week. I am very thankful for the FIVB for sanctioning and promoting these events for younger players. These events are helpful in developing a player’s talents as we can realize success while improving our skills.”
Seeded fourth in the 24-team Main Draw, Van Iersel and Remmers opened play Sunday with by defeating 10th-seeded Taryn Sciarini and Tanja Goricanec of Switzerland 21-12 and 21-11 in 26 minutes at the Nivea Sun Yellowave, the first permanent beach sports venue in the United Kingdom.
For the week, Van Iersel and Remmers finished the competition with a 7-0 match mark while be forced to play a third-and-deciding set as ninth-seeded Marketa Slukova and Kristyna Kolocova of the Czech Republic extended the Dutch pair to the limit before losing 21-16, 17-21 and 15-13.
After qualifying Wednesday with a pair of victories, Van Gestel and Stiekema advanced to the gold medal match at the 2008 SWATCH-FIVB Junior World Championships presented by Nivea Sun by defeating 18th-seeded Monika Brzostek and Karolina Sowala of Poland 21-14, 21-16 in 34 minutes.
In the bronze medal match, Brzostek and Sowala scored a 20-22, 21-17 and 15-12 win in 48 minutes over Sciarini and Goricanec. Both teams posted upsets in the elimination rounds to reach the “final four’ as the Polish pair ousted eighth-seeded Karla Borger/Britta Büthe of Germany (21-19 and 21-17) with the Swiss duo reached the semi-finals by defeating Slukova/Kolocova (21-23, 21-17 and 15-13).
The eighth annual SWATCH-FIVB Junior World Championships also featured men’s competition where Italy’s Francesco Giontella and Paolo Nicolai defeated fifth-seeded Alexander Brouwer and Christiaan Varenhorst of the Netherlands 21-15 and 21-17 in 39 minutes for the gold medal. The Ingrosso twins (Matteo and Paolo) of Italy completed the men’s podium after defeating Matthias Penk and Alexander Walkenhorst of Germany 21-12 and 21-18 in 43 minutes for the bronze medal.
The event website is www.brightonbeachvolleyball.com. The 2008 SWATCH-FIVB Junior World Championships presented by Nivea Sun was supported by UK Sport, who is responsible for managing and distributing public investment and is a statutory distributor of funds raised by the National Lottery. Other event partners were South East England Development agency, Volleyball England, and the Brighton and Hove City Councils. Nivea Sun was the presenting sponsor.