Michiel van Dorsten,
the Netherlands
The former volleyball player was thrown in the deep end on
his World Championships debut, but thoroughly enjoyed the
experience despite him and Tim Oude Elferink losing all three of
their matches to Brazilians Pedro Salgado and Bruno Oscar Schmidt
and Vitor Felipe and Evandro Gonçalves and Spain’s Pablo Herrera
and Adrian Gavira.
You see what you have to achieve to be at the top of the world,”
he said. “Four months ago I couldn’t set a ball or serve. I didn’t
know what I was doing, but it is going fast, so it is great.”
More importantly the knee injuries that forced him to turn his back
on the hard volleyball court surface appeared to improve on the
more forgiving sand.
I had some knee problems indoor and I couldn’t train full time
because of the knee,” he said. “The sand is so much more
comfortable for my knees and I can train six days a week.”
Igor Hernandez
and Jesus Villafañe, Venezuela
Venezuela’s leading duo had clearly acquired a taste for the big
occasion having proven a popular pairing at the London 2012
Olympic Games.
In Stare Jablonki they started as they meant to go on by defeating
USA’s Todd Rogers and Ryan Doherty and while a defeat to eventual
bronze medallists Jonathan Erdmann and Kay Matysik set them
back, they recovered well to finish second in their pool by defeating
South American rivals Pablo Bianchi and Facundo Del Coto of
In the round of 32 they met their match in Paolo Nicolai and Daniele
Lupo, but put up a strong showing against the Italian duo.
Along the way their success hadn’t gone unnoticed and is starting
to lead to a surge in the sport’s popularity back home.
Since the Olympic Games more and more young people in
Venezuela are interested in beach volley,” Hernandez said.
We received support from the government after the Olympics
and thanks to that we were able to start different projects and
encourage young people to play beach volleyball.”