World, Olympic and four-time European champions Anders Mol and Christian Sørum have won the only major title missing in their career. They were runners-up at a King of the Court event three times, now at the very first CEV Queen & King of the Court European Finals 2022 they take the European crown. Among the women, duo for the occasion Chantal Laboreur (who will end her career after this season) and Karla Borger from Germany won the first Queens title. They came out of the play-off and won an extremely exciting final. The winners were presented with a cheque of € 17,500. The total prize money for CEV Queen & King of the Court European Finals 2022 was € 200,000.
The first King of the Court European Finals were held from Tuesday in the BetCity Arena on Jaarbeursplein in Utrecht, the city where King of the Court was invented by organizer Wilco Nijland of Sportworx. Fifteen teams in both genders competed in qualifying for a spot in the main draw, which fifteen teams had already qualified for. With a total of sixty teams, the field of participants was the largest, but also the best ever for King of the Court.
Both Dutch teams Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen and Matthew Immers/Mart van Werkhoven still had a chance of a place in the final, but in the 15-minute play-off round they were no match for Estonian Kusti Nõlvak and Mart Tiisaar, the silver medal winners of King of the Court Hamburg.
The final therefore started with Christiaan Varenhorst and birthday boy Ruben Penninga (25) as the only Dutch team. Penninga was treated to a Happy Birthday song upon entering the BetCity Arena. It didn't bring him luck, he was eliminated together with Varenhorst in the first round. In the second round, the Norwegians Hendrik Mol and Mathias Berntsen said goodbye.
In the deciding round, the three remaining teams turned play into a true spectacle. Anders Mol/Christian Sørum (NOR), David Åhman/Jonatan Hellvig and Kusti Nõlvak/Mart Tiisaar caused a real explosion in the BetCity Arena, where the Norwegian Beach Volley Vikings topped the clock with 14 points: their first title in this format. Åhman and Hellvig came in second, Nõlvak and Tiisaar took the bronze. The longest stay, the most consecutive points on the King's side, was achieved by the Norwegians in the semi-final (15 points).
There were no more Dutch women's duos active on the last day of Queen & King of the Court. In the play-off for the last place in the final, the German women Chantal Laboreur and Karla Borger won. They were able to take that form to the final when they took on two Swiss duos, one from Slovenia and one from Lithuania. In the first round the Swiss Menia Bentele and Anouk Vergé-Dépré stranded. They could take home a consolation prize, they had the longest stay (13 points). They each received a watch from main sponsor Maurice Lacroix (€ 1,500) and a check for € 2,000.
In the second round, Lithuanian Ieva Dumbauskaite and Gerda Grudzinskaite had to say goodbye. Laboreur and Borger saw the Swiss favorites Nina Brunner and Tanja Hüberli level in the final round, but the German women had scored more points in succession. Third place went to Tjaša Kotnik and Tajda Lovšin.
CEV Queen & King of the Court European Finals 2022
The first European Championship Queen & King of the Court can look back on a fantastic event. A dazzling success with four sold-out evenings. The tournament was broadcast live around the world via YouTube and EuroVolley.tv. It was broadcast live on television all over Europe. The prize money of a total of € 200,000 is an unprecedented prize pool for King of the Court. A true royal event, organized by Sportworx, in collaboration with the European volleyball association CEV and Dutch federation Nevobo.