Warsaw, Poland, June 15, 2019 – Nikita Liamin & Taras Myskiv are another Russian team that has been formed by the decision of their national team coaches within a short period of time before the 2019 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championship, but while playing on the World Tour they start to look more and more ready to shine in Hamburg, where the big event will be held from June 28 through July 7.
33-year-old Liamin will come into the World Championship as bronze medallist from the previous edition in Vienna in 2017 and a 2016 Olympian (he achieved a fifth place finish at the Games in Rio), while for 23-year-old Myskiv this will be the rookie appearance at a World Championship. But as they told fivb.com on the premises of the Warsaw four-star stop on the World Tour, they are both equally hungry for success in Hamburg.
Liamin & Myskiv’s first tournament together was the four-star event in Jinjiang in late May, where they immediately managed a fifth place finish. Although the 17th place at the Ostrava four-star may be considered as a bit of a setback, in their third World Tour appearance, at Warsaw, the Russian pair have already secured at least another fifth place result.
At the start, 16th-seeded Liamin & Myskiv stumbled against Brazil’s Pedro Solberg & Vitor Goncalves Felipe, but then quickly recovered with a straight-set win over Austria’s Thomas Kunert & Daniel Muellner. In the first elimination round, the Russians fought their way back from narrowly losing the first set against USA’s Trevor Crabb & Tri Bourne, to winning in the tie-breaker – 2-1 (20-22, 21-19, 15-10).
Nikita Liamin against Vitor Felipe at the net
“We played against the same strong American team in China and we lost. This time there was no less pressure, but we were able to win,” said Liamin after the match.
To make their way to the quarterfinals of the tournament, Liamin & Myskiv achieved another amazing comeback in the second elimination round – 2-1 (16-21, 21-17, 15-13) against German standouts Julius Thole & Clemens Wickler.
Taras Myskiv in defence
“It was a hard match for us, because the German team is really strong, one of the top teams in the World Ranking,” commented Myskiv. “The hot weather also made it hard for us, but we just believed in our game and we won. We are really happy!”
Their next match will be yet another tough test for their readiness to face the strongest teams at the World Championship. In the battle for a spot in the Warsaw semis, Liamin & Myskiv will lock horns with the Brazilian combination of reigning world champion Evandro Goncalves Oliveira Junior and reigning Olympic champion Bruno Oscar Schmidt.
“I think this tournament is a really good practice for us before the World Championship. We are finding our game… We want to show our best and reach the top,” Myskiv continued and went on to comment on whether or not the time between launching their new team and the start of the World Championship will be enough for them to get completely ready, with a smile. “Maybe yes, maybe no, but we hope that it will be enough… After Warsaw, we will go to Moscow, where we will prepare for five or six days. Then, we will go to Hamburg and we will continue our preparation there for four or five days before the World Championship actually starts. We want to take pleasure in every game we play there. We can win, we can lose, but then we will just go forward.”
The drawing of lots for the World Championship pool stage placed Nikita Liamin & Taras Myski in Pool J, in the tough company of Chile’s Marco Grimalt & Esteban Grimalt, Germany’s Nils Ehlers and Lars Flueggen and Mexico’s Lombardo Ontiveros & Juan Virgen.
“We feel that we are in good shape and, of course, we would like to achieve a maximal result,” Liamin pointed out, refusing to name a specific goal for the World Championship. “Our goals are always maximal. We want to win every match, so we just look from one game to the next.”
Rookie Myskiv is particularly stoked about the upcoming biggest event in his sporting career so far. “It will be my first World Championship,” he said. “I have never been to Hamburg, but I hope that there will be a very nice atmosphere. Actually, I think the atmosphere will be fantastic - with the best 48 men’s and 48 women’s teams in the world playing there.”