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Polish favourites off mark with win

Piotr Kantor was a powerful presence at the net as the favourites started with a win
Myslowice, Poland, June 6, 2013 – Reigning FIVB U21 world champions and first seeds Bradorz Losiak and Piotr Kantor got off to a winning start on the opening day of the inaugural FIVB U23 Beach Volleyball World Championships.

The Polish duo were well supported by the home crowd and the pair gave them lots to cheer about during a 2-0 (21-13, 21-17) victory over Italy’s Tiziano Andreatta and Nicola Tiozzo.  

“We are very happy because it was a tough first match,” Losiak said. “It is an important tournament for me and my partner because we are playing at home in Myslowice.”

The pair have been the dominant team in age-group beach volleyball in recent years with victory in the 2012 U21 World Championships in Halifax coming a year after they won silver in the same event. They also won gold in the 2010 U19 World Championships and twice won the CEV European U20 Championships. 

Despite their track record, Losiak doesn’t feel any extra pressure and believes that there are no expectations on them to add another set of gold medals to their collections. 

“There is no pressure because I think we are very young in this category and next year we are also eligible for the U23 category,” Losiak said. “There is no pressure on us because we are still only 22. 

“We want the gold, but gold, silver or bronze would be a good result for my partner and me.”

Germans Bennet and David Poniewaz continued their good form after going through the qualifying round and duly beat Kazakhstan’s Vladislav Pustynnikov and Sergey Bogatu.

The twin-brothers were far too powerful and attacked strongly off their opponents serve to win 2-0 (21-12, 21-11).

“We served very well and then we made the breaks with our power and hit hard with our smash. I think we played very well,” David Poniewaz said.

Thirty-two teams per gender will take place in the main draw of the inaugural FIVB U23 Beach Volleyball World Championships. The main draw started on June 6 and the tournament runs through until Sunday, June 9 when both the men’s and women’s finals take place. 

Myslowice, located 70km from Poland’s ancient capital Krakow, is hosting an FIVB age-group tournament for the third time, after successfully hosting the U19 and U21 version in 2006 and 2007.

It has also regularly hosted stops on the FIVB World Tour – the first tournament was a women-only tournament in 2008, as was the 2011 event. In 2009, 2010 and 2012 it was the men who lit up the sand. 

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