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Estonia’s Vesik and Kollo came to Anapa only for the gold

Estonia's Rivo Vesik (left) and Kristo Kollo want nothing less than the gold
Anapa, Russia, July 26, 2013 – Estonia’s Rivo Vesik and Kristo Kollo came to the FIVB Anapa Open with just one goal: the gold. And they are well on their way, topping the pool on Friday with three straight wins.

“We came here to win the tournament, there can’t be any lower goals, otherwise there’s no point in coming here. If I say I want to become 9th, I should stop playing”, 33-year old Vesik said.

After defeating Italy’s Cecchini and Ingrosso (21-14, 21-19) and upsetting third seeded Swiss team Chevallier and Kovatsch (21-17, 21-14) on Thursday, the Estonians seemed to have slightly more problems with the weakest team in the pool, Pierre Basset and Jeremy Ullmann from France: 22-20, 21-15.

Mentally challenging game against France

“The result was good, but the game itself… Yesterday was better”, Kollo said. “It was about the concentration I think, because we already won the group this was a really hard game, psychologically.”

Vesik agreed. “These kind of games mentally are the toughest games of the competition. If you know you’re first in the group and the game really doesn’t effect anything anymore, because the French guys were last, we were first, it’s really difficult to get your head into the game and try to give a hundred percent. It’s a good practice though, those kind of mentally challenging games.”

Vesik has been playing on the World Tour since 2002, winning a gold medal in 2007 with Kristjan Kais at the Zagreb Open. Last year he teamed up with 23-year old Kollo, a former youth world champion. Reaching the second elimination round in Anapa is their best result so far as a team.

“Honestly we practiced a lot since we started, and I hoped we would book more progress, but now it’s getting better”, Vesik said.

Playing in Estonia is not enough

“Our biggest problem is the side-out; reception, setting and attack. Block and defence is ok, service also. To improve that you have to play with top teams all the time. When we play in Estonia it is not the same. You can play ten games, but it equals one game here.”

“Playing with Estonian teams you don’t have to have a solid side-out, you can allow yourself some mistakes, but here no. So it is important to gather points here and be able to enter more FIVB events.”

The gold in Anapa would sure help, so far their chances look good, there’s only one team Kollo thinks that might get in the way, first seeded Russians Konstantin Semenov and Yaroslav Koshkarev.

“We lost to Semenov and Koshkarev twice already this year”, he said. “Once in Corrientes and once in Antalya. If we meet them somewhere it’s going to be an tough match.”

FIVB Anapa Open Tournament Page

FIVB Anapa Open women’s schedule and results

FIVB Anapa Open men’s schedule and results

FIVB Anapa Open Twitter account

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