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Switzerland, Spain going for Men’s gold at FIVB U17 World Championships

Switzerland's Florian Breer expresses it all as he and teammate Yves Haussener have won their semifinal over Canada to move into the men's gold medal match early Sunday evening at the inaugural FIVB U17 World Championships in Mexico.
Acapulco, Mexico, July 20, 2014 — Getting things started with intense heat in the air and on the court Sunday morning on Playa Tamarindos, the world’s best under 17 years old men battled in the semifinals that netted teams from Spain and Switzerland that will battle for the gold medal early Sunday evening to conclude the inaugural double-gender FIVB Beach Volleyball U17 World Championships being held in Acapulco, Mexico.

The original men’s field of 25 teams representing each of the five FIVB Confederations was reduced to four for Sunday’s semifinals, bronze medal and gold medal matches. With three countries of the final four from the European Confederation (CEV) (France, Spain, Switzerland), Canada is from the North and Central America Confederation (NORCECA).

The semifinal winners now advance to the men’s gold medal match at 6 p.m. local time while the two semifinal losers(France and Canada) will meet at 4 p.m. local time for the men’s bronze medal match.

In the men’s gold medal finale between unbeaten teams both with 7-0 records, Spain’s Oscar Jimenez/Alejandro Huerta, both 16 and both living in Tenerife will challenge Switzerland’s Florian Breer, 15/Yves Haussener, both of Basel.

Spain’s Jimenez/Huerta duo was unbeaten in pool play at 4-0 with elimination round wins over teams from the USA, Netherlands and France. Switzerland’s Breer/Haussener duo is 7-0 also with elimination round wins over teams from Russian, Italy and Canada.

In the men’s bronze medal match for the final spot on the podium, France’s Marc Darrieux/Timothee Platre will meet Canada’s Jordan Pereira/Taryq Sani.

France’s Darrieux/Platreenter tandem enters the bronze medal match with a 5-2 record, having eliminated teams from Costa Rica and USA in the elimination rounds before the semifinal loss to Spain while Canada’s Pereira/Sani tandem is 5-1 with elimination round victories over teams from Mexico and Poland before their semifinal loss to Switzerland.

It’s never easy at any level of beach volleyball to reach the medal matches and this tournament has been no exception.

In rematch from pool play, on center court Spain defeated France for the second time in this tournament. The team’s semifinal match was much closer, going three sets to the delight of the partisan Mexican crowd before Spain would win over France 16-21, 23-21, 15-10 in one hour, two minutes, the longest match of the elimination rounds and third longest of the tournament. In pool play, Spain prevailed over France, 27-25, 21-12 in 41 minutes.

In the other semifinal on court 2 Sunday morning between two unbeaten teams, Switzerland’s Breer/Haussener won in two sets, overwhelming Canada’s Pereira/Sani, 21-13, 21-9 in a 33-minute match.

While Spain’s exhuberant Jimenez/Huerta together expressed “joy and satisfaction to defeat France twice in this tournament", Switzerland’s Breer/Haussener finished their match in two sets and were a little more expressive.

Switzerland’s Breer remarked, “We are very excited with the result against Canada. Especially because last year we played in a championship event and we pretty much lost everything."

With his sentiments between gulps of water, Switzerland’s Haussener said, “Now in the final we are going to play as well as we can and not be nervous. I’m confident that we can beat them. Especially because volleyball is our passion, we love to play the game.”

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