23-year old Michal Bryl (centre) competes at the World Tour Finals net against Adrian Gavira (right) of Spain as Polish partner Grzegorz Fijalek follows the action.
Hamburg, Germany, August 16, 2018 - The second day of men’s competition at the Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals presented by Vodafone saw the elimination of two of the more experienced teams on the international circuit with five pairs with an average age of 25 still in contention for the largest gold medal purse in the sport’s history.
With one match still to play in the $800,000 World Tour Finals being played at Rothenbaum Stadium, fifth-seeded Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins of Latvia and sixth-seeded Adrian Gavira/Pablo Herrera of Spain were defeated here Wednesday morning for their third setback each in the fourth annual event.
Gavira and Herrera were the first to be ousted from podium placement contention as the Spaniards with 103 appearances together on the FIVB World Tour dropped a 2-1 (13-21, 21-12, 15-12) Pool B decision in 41 minutes to ninth-seeded Michal Bryl/Grzegorz Fijalek of Poland.
"Another close match, another loser," said the 30-year old Gavira, who has played in two Olympics with Herrera. "It’s been three close matches, but we didn’t have the luck you need for winning the matches. I think the problem in the three matches was the reception, we didn’t have comfort on the reception."
Bryl and Fijalek, who are appearing in their 18th FIVB event together, have now won two of their three pool play matches to tie seventh-seeded Martins Plavins/Edgars Tocs of Latvia for the second spot in the group behind second-seeded Anders Mol and Christian Sorum of Norway.
Plavins and Tocs, who are playing in their 13th World Tour event together, conclude Pool B action on Friday against Bryl and Fijalek while Mol and Sorum with 16 FIVB tournaments to their credit seek to improve their 3-0 run with final matches against third-seeded Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen and the Netherlands.
Samoilovs and Smedins, who have won 11 FIVB gold medals in 69 World Tour events together, were eliminated after dropping a 2-1 (21-18, 19-21, 15-13) Pool A decision in 43 minutes over 10th-seeded Oleg Stoyanovskiy/Igor Velichko of Russia.
"We couldn’t play at our best and when that happens in this tournament you won’t win games," said the 31-year-old Smedins, who captured the bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games with Plavins. "I’m physically and emotionally tired, so I just want to take some days off and relax.”
Stoyanovskiy and Velichko, who are playing in their 10th FIVB event together, are currently fourth in Pool A behind top-seeded Julius Thole/Clemens Wickler of Germany, fourth-seeded Piotr Kanto/Bartosz Losiak of Poland and eighth-seeded Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai of Italy.
The Russians close group action on Friday morning against Lupo/Nicolai before Thole/Wickler meet Kantor/Losiak. The Germans are currently 3-0 in Pool A and defeated Samoilovs and Smedins in three sets in Thursday’s final men’s match at Rothenbaum Stadium.
Men’s pool play concludes Friday to set the field for the event quarterfinal matches where the second- and third place finishers in each group advance to the quarterfinals with the top teams in each pool getting a bye into the semifinals.
The men’s final four matches will be played Saturday with the gold medal team sharing the $150,000 first-place prize. The women’s competition featured pool play and quarterfinal matches Saturday with the semifinal and medal contests on Sunday.