Capogrosso and Azaad power through Chetumal qualifiers

 

Chetumal, Mexico, November 13, 2019 – A South American matchup concluded the men’s qualification tournament at the 4-star double gender FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour stop in Chetumal, Mexico and, defying the odds, an Argentinean team defeated a Brazilian tandem to secure the final main draw spot.

The feat was accomplished by Julian Azaad and Nicolas Capogrosso, who downed Saymon Barbosa and Arthur Lanci 2-0 (21-18, 21-18) in the last match of the day on centre court. 


The victory over their continental rivals had a special taste to the Argentineans, who recently won the bronze medal at the Pan-American Games, but didn’t do better than a 17th-place in any of the five World Tour events they played at in 2019.

“There’s a big rivalry between the two countries regardless of the sport and it’s always special to beat a Brazilian team, especially because they are among the best in the world in beach volleyball,” Azaad said.  “It’s funny because I feel that we normally play better against the Brazilians. And for us, to end the year in the main draw of a four-star, that means a lot.”

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The Argentineans were the only pair among the 16 qualified teams – eight men and eight women – to survive two elimination matches in Chetumal. While the first, a 2-0 (21-12, 21-11) victory over Mexicans Jose Cardenas and Juan Espinoza, was played under high temperatures, in the second they had to deal with some rain.

But neither was a problem to them.

“It was really hot during the first match but fortunately it was raining a little bit in the second,” the Argentinean added. “I always think that playing twice in the qualifier has its pros and cons. You are obviously more tired than your opponents in the second match, but you are also already in rhythm and I think that was a difference today, I felt they were still a little slow.”

Besides the Argentineans, teams advancing included Belgium’s Dries Koekelkoren/Tom van Walle, China’s Peng Gao/Yang Li, France’s Youssef Krou/Edouard Rowlandson, USA’s John Hyden/Billy Kolinske, Russia’s Ruslan Bykanov/Alexander Likholetov, Ukraine’s Iaroslav Gordieiev/Sergiy Popov and Germany’s Sven Winter/Alexander Walkenhorst.

China's Peng Gao and Yang Li are among the qualified teams in Mexico