Mol and Sørum start season strong
JO CHRISTIAN WELDINGH
After an 18-month break, the international beach volleyball circuit, FIVB World Tour, is back. Norwegian beach volleyball duo Anders Mol, 23, and Christian Sørum, 26, continued their dominance of the FIVB World Tour by winning this season’s first two tournaments in Cancún, Mexico.
Mol and Sørum reinforced the fact that they are favorites to win the gold medal in the Tokyo Olympic games this summer by beating Cherif Samba an Ahmed Tijan from Qatar in both finals. The Qatari duo are seen as the biggest challenger for a Norwegian Olympic gold medal.
“The others will see us as favorites, but we know what we have been though in the last six months, so for us, it feels like a bonus to reach the final,” Sørum told NRK. “It is incredible to be back here again. It almost feels like we’re in the final every time we compete, but it’s not like that, we were close to being knocked out several times.”
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the duo had not played together since they won their third consecutive European championship in September 2020—their only international competition of 2020—and Mol’s hip injury has also affected the preparations.
“We’re happy to be back in the circuit,” Mol told TV2 before heading to Cancun.
Despite their young age, Mol and Sørum are already on the top 10 list of the most-winning beach volleyball duos of all time. The second victory in Cancun was the Norwegian duo’s 12th World Tour victory. They are ranked as the No. 1 duo in the world, have lost only five of their last 115 games and have not placed outside top three in a tournament since 2018. They also won the FIVB World Tour in 2018 and 2019. Mol was named the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour’s Most Outstanding Player in 2018.
No Norwegian beach volleyball duo has ever won an Olympic gold medal, but the Mol and Sørum team will travel to Tokyo as one of Norway’s biggest gold medal contenders, along with track star Karsten Warholm and the women’s handball team.
The FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour is the worldwide professional beach volleyball tour for both men and women organized by the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB). Winning the World Tour is considered to be one of the highest honors in international beach volleyball, being surpassed only by the World Championships and the Olympic games.
On May 4, Mol tested positive for coronavirus while training in Tenerife, Spain, although he showed no symptoms. He was the only member of the national team to test positive as part of mandatory tests prior to leaving for Madrid for the Continental Cup and Olympic qualifying. Mol, Sørum, and the Norwegian second team of Mathias Berntsen and Hendrik Mol had to be quarantined, though they were scheduled to be tested again on May 6. National team coach Kåre Mol told NTB, even if Anders received a false positive, he would not be allowed to go to Madrid. Anders and Sørum have already qualified for the Olympics.
This article originally appeared in the May 21, 2021, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.