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Australia’s Guehrer and Hunter take first stepping-stone at U19

Australia's John Hunt (left) and Max Guehrer and their coach
Porto, Portugal, July 29, 2014 – Max Guehrer and John Hunt took their first stepping-stone at the FIVB Beach Volleyball U19 World Championships in Porto on Tuesday. The Australians won both matches in qualification and were one of four teams to advance to main draw.

Guehrer (17) and Hunt (19) started with a tough game against home team Rocha/Santiago (23-21, 16-21, 15-10) and defeated Lithuania’s Barauskis/Bartkus 2-0 (21-17, 21-13) in the afternoon.

“We set some goals and this is just one step”, said Hunt about making it to the main draw. “We are really happy to have taken it and we are really looking forward to it.”

For Hunt the U19’s are his first FIVB event. Guehrer finished 33rd last year with Benjamin Lane and also competed at the U21 last week in Larnaka with another partner, but did not make it to main draw there.

“So it was really good to get this win”, Guehrer said. “Especially with the family coming over as well. We are really looking forward to some tough competition cause this is not the last step, we want to keep going, so it’s a great stepping stone.”

The Australians live in different parts of the country and did not have a lot of time to get used to each other. “We had very little training over the last four weeks with each other since I was preparing with my partner for the U21’s”, said Guehrer.

“But we are pretty good mates. Before we left to come over to Europe, John came over and stayed at my place for a week”, he continued.

Hunt: “We had some trainings together there, so that definitely helped. And now we just keep getting better every game. We keep talking, keep celebrating everything, loving it being out there. Really fun. Can’t wait for it.”

Germany also adds a second team to main draw

Germany’s Julius Thole and Felix Göbert booked two straight wins to advance to main draw. The two 17-year olds defeated Ukraine’s Denysenko/Kravets (24-22, 21-17) and Norway’s Sorum/Olimstad (21-14, 21-13).

Göbert has some international experience, he finished 4th at the U18 last year with one of Germany’s main draw players Eric Stadie, but for Thole Porto is his first event.

In their final match against Norway the Germans were leading from start till end in both sets. “This one was a little easier”, said Thole. “But the first one against Ukraine, especially the first set was a bit difficult.”

About their goal in this tournament he said: “We don’t want to look too far ahead, we just want to play one game at a time. Then we will see how long we get to play.”

Also qualifying for main draw were Mateusz Lysikowski and Jakub Jetke with two wins over Austria’s Skrabal/Friedl (21-15, 21-19) and Dutch pair Bouter/Van Steenis (24-22, 21-12).

Brazil’s Gabriel Mussi Fichter and Jonas Paixao Fidelis made it to the main draw with wins over Turkey’s Onder/Zorluer (21-8, 21-11) and Portugal’s Bernardo/Leite (21-13, 21-18).

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