Russia upset top seeds in U19 qualifications
The Russians defeated the Brazilians 2-0 (22-20 21-15) after another 2-0 (21-14 21-18) win over Latvia’s Reinis Pridans and Pauls Alberts van der Beks in their first qualification match.
“It was a tough match”, 16-year old and 2,01 metres tall Stoyanoskiy said. “Brazil is a very strong team.”
The Russian boys only teamed up half a year ago and prepared with a one-week training camp for their first FIVB event. “We put everything in this match”, Yarzutkin said.
“To reach main draw in our first competition is a very good result for us and we hope to do well in main draw.”
Yarzutkin thought this would be a nice present for his sister’s birthday. “But a medal would be even better.”
Swiss team disappoints Portuguese fans
With the support of a huge home crowd on the centre court of the beach stadium in Porto, Jorge Graca and Artur Resende put up a great fight against 7th seeded Michiel Zandbergen en Quentin Metral from Switzerland.
After losing the first set, the Portuguese fought back and held off numerous Swiss match points to win the second 29-27. They could resist two more match points in the tiebreak but lost eventually 2-1 (21-11 27-29 15-12).
“Yes, they had a lot of support and we could hear it clearly on the court”, Zandbergen said. “But we brought some fans of our own that made a lot of noise as well.”
Zandbergen is competing in his first FIVB age group event and usually does not play with Metral because they are both blockers, but he is filling in for Metral’s injured partner.
“We got sloppy in the second”, he said about the match against Portugal. “ We won the first set very easy. We thought the second one would be like that, so we relaxed a little. That was not a good strategy.”
Zandbergen and Metral will be the only Swiss team in the main draw of the boy’s competition, which starts on Thursday. A total of 32 teams divided over eight pools of four teams will compete in a round robin to get into the elimination phase.
Only the top three of the pool advance to the round of 24 on Saturday. The semifinals and medal matches are scheduled for Sunday.