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Poland's Fijalek and Prudel: the best is yet to come

Poland's Mariusz Prudel (left) and Grzegorz Fijalek qualified for the knockout phase after their second straight win
Stare Jablonki, Poland, July 3, 2013 – Home favourites Grzegorz Fijalek and Mariusz Prudel already secured a spot in the knockout rounds after their second straight win at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships Mazury 2013, but say they are still keeping something in reserve.

“You can't show everything from the beginning, but we're trying to play good enough to win. I think we are getting better every day”, Fijalek said on Wednesday after their 2-0 (21-18 21-15) win over the Chilean cousins Esteban and Marco Grimalt. “The most important thing is that we are winning, that's what counts in sports.”

The Grimalts put up a good fight against the Polish team and their fans on centre court. Both teams sided-out very well until 17-17, from there the home team took charge. The second set was almost a copy of the first one, but this time Fijalek and Prudel took the lead from 14-14 with some great kill blocks by Prudel.

Unknown opponent

According to Fijalek it was a tough and unpredictable game. “It was difficult because we didn't know anything about our opponent. We saw them yesterday and during our game we tried to analyze their actions step by step and at the end we managed to defeat them.”

The match on Thursday against Australia’s Isaac Kapa and Christopher McHugh, who also booked two wins, will decide who finishes on top of the pool, but the wins over the Grimalts and Spain’s Lario and Monfort (21-8 23-21) on Tuesday gave them confidence and an early ticket to the elimination rounds.

“It's just the beginning of the tournament”, Fijalek said. “The two games which we won gave us confidence but we think that the stress will appear on Friday. We try to stay focused on our game. We realize that the beginnings of our matches are not the best yet, but at the end of the game everything seems to work better so we were able to win two times.”

Home event both a blessing and a curse

The huge support of the Polish fans will also make a big difference, Prudel said. “It’s looking good, everything is perfect here. We are looking forward to seeing more and more people coming to watch the beach volleyball, it creates a great atmosphere and that will make the Polish teams even play better.”

The home advantage is great but playing on home soil also puts a lot of pressure on the Polish men. “We know it’s going to be hard. Everyone watches Fijalek and Prudel”, Fijalek said.

Prudel: “We just try not to think about the pressure and concentrate on our game. We know that when we play good the results will be good. So we don’t think about the pressure because there is always pressure when you play at home.”

Fifth at 2011 World Champs in Rome

Their first World Championships in Rome two years ago ended in an excellent 5th place. Since then they really established themselves on the World Tour with two silver and two bronze medals and a 5th place at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

“It was the first big tournament for us in Rome”, Fijalek said. “So we hope that we can play better than in Rome and stand on the podium here in Stare Jablonki.”

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