Expect a Fuzhou-repeat in Shanghai - Laciga
Lausanne, Switzerland, April 29, 2013 - Switzerland’s Martin Laciga, who recently retired from international beach volleyball, provides his thoughts on last week’s Fuzhou Open and looks ahead to the first FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour event of the year – the Shanghai Grand Slam - where he believes the likes of the Americans, Italians and Brazilians to contest the medals again.
Martin Laciga expects to see the Fuzhou Open finalists - Sean Rosenthal and Phil Dalhausser of USA and Italy's Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo - to be in contention for Shanghai Grand Slam honours as well|
“It was a very interesting start to the new season with the Fuzhou Open in China.
“I was very impressed with the performance of the Austrian team Alexander Huber and Robin Seidl. It was great to see them playing against Ricardo Santos and Alvaro Filho in the bronze medal match. I know them very well and I played them many times. There are a lot of new teams playing together and the Austrians took advantage of being an experienced team and played well against these new teams.
“I was expecting the USA team of Sean Rosenthal and Phil Dalhausser to win the competition; I couldn’t really see a weakness in their game. They are the best team in this competition, they move very fast and they control the ball. It is clear for me that they will make it to the top of the rankings, but they won’t totally dominate as there are some other good teams – you could see this in their match against Brazilians.
“It is because Ricardo and his new partner Alvaro Filho are still not 100% precise; as a new team they need time to gel and other teams can use their lack of familiarity against them. That said, Ricardo’s new partner played really well. You could see that Alvaro Filho was under huge pressure, but his performances were great all the same. Having Ricardo as your partner must be challenging; he is left-handed, which should be an advantage as most of the players are right-handed.
“It is hard to predict the Shanghai Grand Slam, especially if other teams who didn’t play in Fuzhou come back. This is just the beginning of the season so everything can change.
“I would expect the same teams in the Shanghai finals, so Rosenthal and Dalhausser, Ricardo and Alvaro Filho, and the Italians Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo. Of course, there is always the possibility that other teams will cause a surprise, especially now that blockers are so much taller. Some of them are almost two metres tall, therefore defensive players have to be strong and attack, otherwise blockers can dominate.
“It is important that other teams also have a chance to experience some success – this helps their confidence.
Of course I hope for some success for the Swiss’ men’s team especially as Swiss ladies Nadine Zumkehr and Joana Heidrich are doing good job.”
Martin Laciga is a recently retired beach volleyball player from Switzerland. Partnering with his older sibling Paul, the Laciga brother won the silver medal in the men's beach team competition at the 1999 Beach Volleyball World Championships in Marseille, France. He has represented Switzerland at the Olympic Games in Sydney, Athens where he placed fifth and Beijing where he finished ninth. He has also competed in seven FIVB World Championships (1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2011) and has won six international gold medals.
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