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Argentina's Gallay/Klug ecstatically reach final eight at Phuket Open

Argentina’s Ana Gallay and Georgina Klug gain their career best result entering the final eight at the Phuket Open after beating Jamie Lynn Broder and Kristina Valjas from Canada on Friday
Phuket, Thailand, November 1, 2013 – Argentina’s Ana Gallay and Georgina Klug gain their best ever result, reaching the final eight at the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball Phuket Open on Friday. The popular Phuket Open is back this year as the penultimate FIVB Open event of the season running from October 29 to November 3.

Gallay/Klug met Jamie Lynn Broder and Kristina Valjas from Canada in their only match of the day after progressing directly into round two of single elimination, winning 2-0 (21-15, 21-16).

Onwards & upwards

Gallay/Klug retained the form they have shown so far in Phuket by maintaining control, despite their clear excitement during the match against Broder/Valjas. Argentina took an early lead in the second and Canada could never close the gap, even with some great saves by Valjas.

A strategic Gallay/Klug time-out for Canada’s serve at match point played out and a lovely Gallay tip over the net closed the match to vocal Argentinian celebrations.   

“I cannot say more than happy, happy, happy. It’s difficult to say what you feel after our first season playing together. Actually almost our first year playing beach volleyball, so we are really proud of the whole effort that we made the whole year with the coaches in Argentina and everybody,” said Klug.

Gallay/Klug only teamed up this year and took their best result at the Anapa Open with ninth.

“We really played with the heart every point, we never got to a fifth position in the whole season so we’re really fighting for it and every point for us was like a victory. We feel really confident I think,” said Klug.

For me it is the best tournament in the whole year because I have the beach, and a great beach here. We really enjoy that, going to the sea five times a day and enjoying this amazing place.”

The Argentinian pair now face Agatha Bednarczuk and Maria Antonelli on Saturday to vie for a place in the semifinal in Phuket.

“I’m feeling happy, tired and very determined,” said Gallay.

We feel really good for tomorrow, we really want to play and we will see what happens, but for sure we play with the heart.”

The Argentinian pair topped Pool D on Thursday by beating Brazil’s Maria Clara Salgado Rufino and Carolina Solberg Salgado. Maria Clara-Carol are now the top seeded players left in the tournament after they knocked out Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst in a well matched three set battle 2-1 (13-21, 21-17, 15-11).

Highest result

Rimke Braakman and Jantine van der Vlist from the Netherlands is another team who have reached a career best in Phuket entering the last eight after failing to drop a match in the tournament so far. They beat top qualifiers Teresa Mersmann and Isabel Schneider from Germany, helped along by some useful blocking and intelligent placement by Van der Vlist, 2-1 (19-21, 22-20, 15-11).

“It was really tough, with these conditions I think all teams are struggling. Against the German’s it’s always a fight, but getting the win is great,” said Van der Vlist.

“Our level was really going up and down, but in the end we all stayed fighting. I think everyone fought really hard, but I think we fought a little harder because we had the win,” said Braakman.

The Dutch pair is no stranger on the FIVB world circuit, but had not finished above ninth (Moscow Grand Slam) together until today.

“I didn’t really realise it, but we’re still in the game so let’s keep going and see where we end,” said Van der Vlist.

Braakman/Van der Vlist now face the only remaining USA team, Emily Day and Summer Ross on Friday as the new partnership still irons out the creases, but has high hopes for the future.

“I think we’re getting there, at the beginning we were struggling a little but now it’s getting better and I think there’s good hope for the future and we can be a really good team,” said Braakman.

Thailand’s top women’s team Varapatsorn Radarong and Tanarattha Udomchavee didn’t quite reach the top ten they were eager for, but the pair put on a great show in Phuket. In the first round of knock-outs, they beat Mexico’s Candelas Bibiana and Martha Revuelta 2-0 (21-14, 25-23) as the winds picked up on centre court. In the final 16 they couldn’t match the strength of Agatha Bednarczuk and Maria Antonelli from Brazil who won 2-0 (21-8, 21-17).

Disappointment also for April Ross and Jennifer Fopma in Phuket who unfortunately retire due to illness.  

Thailand has hosted over 10 women’s and one men’s FIVB tournament. Overall, the USA has been the most successful with 10 medal finishes in the seven FIVB World Tour events held in Phuket.

The tournament previously ran from 2006 until 2011, when the event moved to Bangsaen in 2012. China’s Chen Xue and Zhang Xi won the 2011 edition, while Jennifer Kessy and April Ross were victorious in 2012. 

Phuket is an island located to the south of Thailand, while the city of Phuket is the island’s capital and home to 75,000 people. It is located 825 kilometres from Bangkok, the capital of Thailand.

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