2017-08-06 18:47:00 CEST
Brazilians reflect on golden Vienna adventure
One. Fantastic. Block. That was the moment that confirmed Andre Loyola as the youngest world champion of all time. If only he had known it at the time.
Over two weeks, spanning 108 enthralling matches in Vienna, he and Evandro Goncalves proved themselves a cut above the field on the Red Bull Beach Arena, walking away with the trophy and gold medals around their necks.
But for Andre, there was an extra honor to take in his luggage, a historic moment upon which he, a man who had watched Alison/Bruno and dreamed of following in their footsteps two years ago, will never forget.
At 22 years and 352 days old, no player has ever been a younger FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships presented by A1 winner than the Brazilian, beating the previous record of 23 years, eight months and four days from Dutchman Alexander Brouwer.
But in true Andre style, a Brazilian with a mature head on young shoulders, his applause was only held for his ‘superhero’ teammate.
“I didn’t know about it so I’m really happy and emotional about being the youngest,” he said after victory over Clemens Doppler and Alex Horst. “But there’s no way I can talk about this game and this tournament without talking about what Evandro did.
“Especially in the first set when he got those aces. I look at him now and I see a superhero.
“He made the difference not only in this game but in the entire tournament.”
With the way Evandro was serving on Red Bull Beach Arena, he could very well have been mistaken for Superman.
In truth they were very much the poopers to the Austrian home party, but nothing could be taken away from their scintillating display, dropping just four sets in the tournament.
But for this pair, their accolade was no fluke, neither was it just a physical battle.
“I’ve been training really hard with my serving, something I’ve done for a while,” said Evandro.
“At the end of the first set it was good to have some serves that changed the game a little bit but this is not all about me. My coaching staff, my partner Andre, they all helped me get better so it’s not just my serves, it’s my serves and my staff.
“The last tournament we played before the World Championships was Poland and we did really bad. Being the more experienced of the two of us I knew that when he got here, it’s a new tournament, a new story so we were really strong mentally for this tournament.
“I have this strong feeling of giving this gift to Andre and help making him the youngest World Champion, this is amazing.”
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