Reckermann and Brink closing in on world championship form
Jonas Reckermann (left) and Julius Brink were in ominous form as they defeated Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Ruslans Sorokins to reach the last eight|
London, Great Britain, August 4, 2012 – Former FIVB world champions Jonas Reckermann and Julius Brink rolled back the years as they advanced to the London 2012 Olympic Games quarter-finals with a slick win over Latvia’s Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Ruslans Sorokins, 21-12, 21-17.
Despite a year that has been interrupted by Reckermann’s shoulder injury the 2009 world champions had too much in their armoury for the Latvian duo at Horse Guard’s Parade. Reckermann enjoyed a tight contest with Samoilovs at the net, but came off best, while Brink swept up at the back of the court anytime the Latvians found a way past Reckermann.
The Germans dominated the opening set and appeared to be running away with the second until Sorokins and Samoilovs began a fight back that took them to within three points until Brink won the match with a powerful spike.
“We played a pretty good pool stage and won all our matches, but in single elimination it is totally different,” Reckermann said. “We can be proud with how we played today. Our serve was good and we were able to put a lot of pressure on them and win points with our serve.”
Marketa Slukova and Kristyna Kolocova recorded the biggest result of their career when they knocked out fifth seeds Maria Antonelli and Talita Antunes with a 21-16, 20-22, 15-9 win.
Maria Antonelli opened scoring and for the rest of the first set the teams matched each other point for point until the Czechs pulled away as the set drew to a close.
In the early stages of the second set the Brazilians were unable to deal with the Czech players’ movement and agility around the court, but they used their experience to draw them in. However, Slukova and Kolocova refused to give up and they saved one match point before a powerful Maria Antonelli serve won the second set.
The third set began the same way when the Czechs built up their lead early on and while Talita and Maria Antonelli tried to fight back the Czechs had done enough to keep them at arm’s length and win the match.
“We were so happy to get through the pool and get a 16th place finish,” Slukova said. “We’ve never beaten this team and it is just great to be at the Olympics. She (Kristyna) played amazing in the pool play and I knew that it was my turn and I had to take over because she wasn’t feeling well today.”