2011 CEV Beach Volleyball European Championship - Final

Norway seems to be a very special place for Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann. After these guys claimed the World Championships 2 years ago in Stavanger, this afternoon they added to their impressive collection also a European gold, something they had been hunting for a few years after they had already topped the final standings of this competition in the past but with the contribution of different partners.
Brink and Reckermann edged their compatriots Kay Matysik and Jonathan Erdmann in straight sets (25-23, 21-19) but “it was really a tough game” said Reckermann. “Before traveling to Norway we had openly declared that our goal was to win this European Championship. This statement was generating some pressure because we were somehow expected to win here but we finally made it. We are totally pleased with this result” he added.
This is the third European crown for Reckermann who had previously won the title in 2002 and 2004 partnering Markus Dieckmann, while Julius Brink adds a second gold medal to his showcase after a first place seized in 2006 together with Dieckmann’s brother, Christoph.
The scenario this afternoon was certainly not the one the organizers had hoped for here in Kristiansand: although the final was attended by quite a good crowd, some heavy rain affected the general atmosphere and also the playing conditions. Anyway, small German flags had been given to all spectators, so finally it looked like this final match was taking place in Berlin rather than in Kristiansand.
At 23 years of age, Jonathan Erdmann was the youngest player on court and although this was his first European Championship with the seniors, he stood up pretty well with the pressure, always supported and well motivated by his older and more experienced friend Kay Matysik.
Erdmann/Matysik dictated the tempo for most of the first set with Brink/Reckermann drawing level only at 14 all; after a very close run, Erdmann and Matysik could not finalize three set balls while the 2009 World champions sealed the set with their second opportunity to go for the 1:0 as wrong setting was whistled to Kay Matysik.
Brink/Reckermann played with great consistency in set 2, very solid in defense and with excellent offensive combinations; Matysik/Erdmann stayed tuned for most of the time, although the block of Erdmann was no longer as effective as it has been in the semifinal with Nummerdor and Schuil. After claiming a very narrow margin, Brink/Reckermann got two chances to pocket the game (20:18) and they only needed to wait for the second to be silvered to start their celebrations for a first, common European title.

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