Timeless Herrera starting to dream of Tokyo

 

Pablo Herrara is still going strong at 35

Doha, Qatar, March 8, 2018 – Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira are set to celebrate their 10th anniversary as a team and hope to use it as a springboard to further success on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. 

At the back of the Spaniards’ minds is the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Qualifying through the World Tour begins in 2019 and runs till midway through 2020. 

Should they qualify it will be the 35-year-old Herrera’s fifth Olympic Games, and his third in tandem with Gavira. In doing so he would be the first male to play in five Olympic Games.


He won silver alongside Javier Bosma at Athens 2004, and while he will be nearer his 40s than his 20s by the time the action starts at Tokyo 2020, he admits to taking inspiration from other players on the Tour who are over 40. 

“We feel good in and out of the court and this year is our 10th year together and it still feels like the first one,” Herrera said. “We’re happy together. We have a good relationship on and off the court. We are friends, almost brothers and I think that is the key.

“Look at John Hyden, he is 45 I think and he is still like a young player, it is crazy. My knee is fine and it doesn’t give me any problems any more. 

“It will be difficult to qualify, we will need to be in top condition next year and then we’ll see.”

Herrera and Gavira are currently competing in the 4-Star KATARA Beach Volleyball Cup in Doha and showed that they are nearing their best with a 2-0 (21-15, 21-17) win over Italy’s Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo, who last week won silver at the 5-Star Fort Lauderdale Major.

The 4-Star KATARA Beach Volleyball Cup runs from March 6-10, and is taking place at the KATARA Cultural Village. It is the fourth time that Doha has hosted an FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour tournament, following competitions in 2014, 2015 and 2016. 

Their most recent podium finish came at the 2017 3-Star Hague tournament where they won silver. They are among the most consistent teams on the Tour and last week reached the Fort Lauderdale quarterfinals. 

“We have to improve our block-defence,” Gavira said. “We aren’t so tall, so it sometimes makes blocking hard. Then if we don’t side-out well we get nothing, so we really need to work on our side-out.”