Grimalts get golden finish in Tokyo
Chile's Marco and Esteban Grimalt emerged victorious against Serbia's Stefan Basta and Lazar Kolaric in the men's final of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Tokyo 3-star
The Grimalts grabbed an early 7-3 lead in the opening set, as Marco went explosive on the attack and block. The Serbians had several miscalculations on their attacks, giving the Chileans a bigger 12-5 lead. Marco continued to exploit the struggling defence of their rivals to give his side the 21-12 win.
The Serbians played better in the second set, but Marco still found the open spots that helped the Chileans to deadlock at 6-all. Marco and Esteban finally snatched the lead at 9-8 and a series of errors from Basta gave them 12-10 cushion. Esteban pushed the Serbian defence harder with strong hits and his big block on Basta got them closer to the end of the match. Kolaric scored on a spike but his service blunder gave Chile the match point at 20-17. Esteban had the final say and completed the golden finish with a cross-court hit at 21-17.
“It was an awesome week,” Esteban said. “It was difficult to play but we kept fighting until the end. Now we bring home the gold. I want to congratulate Serbia, they had a great week and season.”
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USA’s Casey Patterson and Stafford Slick rallied from a set down to win 2-1 (18-21, 21-13, 15-10) against beating Germany’s Philipp Arne Bergmann and Yannick Harms and bring home the bronze medal.
The Germans kept their rivals in check by putting up great defence that helped them build a lead in the opening set. Slick toughened up his defence at the net, while Patterson put some pressure on his serves to reduce the lead of the Germans to a single point 16-15. Slick made another block to tie the game at 17-all, but Bergmann and Harms took turns on the attack to close the set at 21-18.
Slick got into an early scoring act in the second set, while Patterson took care of the defence. Patterson powered his way from the service line to give the USA side a 9-4 edge. The Americans grabbed every opportunity to score until they completed the match equaliser at 21-13.
Patterson took over on offence in the third set and unleashed powerful serves that gave his side a 7-2 lead. Bergmann retaliated to cut down the lead to 9-6, but Patterson’s service once again prevailed to give them a 13-8 lead, until Slick finished it with back-to-back hits to secure the bronze medal win at 15-10.
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