France’s Rowlandson wants a proper farewell present for his partner
So far Rowlandson is doing a good job. The pair finished second in their pool and defeated Austria’s Peter Eglseer and Felix Koraimann (21-12 21-18) in the first knockout round. Being in the round of 16 is their best team result in a FIVB event.
“So finishing on this result is the best thing we could have, especially for me”, Rowlandson said. “Andy already did it with his brother. And it is also a good thing to finish on a good positive competition because this is Andy’s last competition.”
A Durban medal would be even nicer, but the French pair has to be realistic. On Saturday they are up against World Tour leaders Janis Smedins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs. But the Latvians had a narrow escape in their last game and the French are in form.
“We are playing well here”, said Ces. “I think we could adapt well to different weather conditions. We had some hot sun today, we had the rain yesterday and in the morning it was cold. And today in the afternoon again rain. And wind also, we like to play in the wind.”
Rowlandson did not have a good start but adapted quickly. “I had some difficulties with starting in the previous games. I really had to change my way of starting the game, being more strong in the head and aggressive. Because Andy was doing well in the whole competition and so it was important for me to come back and show Andy I can be more energetic.”
He proved that to his partner by digging the most impossible balls of the sand with Ces strong at the net. After an easy first set the Austrians closed in to two points behind in the second set, but a strong service run from Rowlandson got them their first match point at 20-16. Ces finished it with a huge spike on the third match point.
Time to turn the page
The veteran, who won World Tour silver at the 2008 Manama Open and gold at the 2010 Continental Cup in Montpellier, is looking back on a very happy and fortunate period.
“I have had very good years travelling all around the world and playing beach volleyball, which is what I like to do. Despite sometimes-bad results, bad seasons I made the right decision to quit indoor and get on the beach. I got to experience a different volleyball, more personal and where you get to motivate yourself more.”
“It actually influenced my life a lot, because I met Jen Kessy and now we are married. And I also live in California now and that is also why I have to stop playing for France. I have to quit the programme, because it was very hard for me this year to first fly to France and then to the competition. It costs a lot of time. I think it’s time to turn the page and I hope that Eddy will find a new partner and keeps going.”
Rowlandson: “In French we say it’s time to pass the baton. He’s is passing it on to me. This is only my first season. So hopefully I can find a new partner.”
There are not a lot of French beach volleyball players though. Ces: “But there is a lot of good indoor players and it’s a matter of letting them know there is a future in beach volleyball.”
“It is hard to convince them because they can earn money with a professional club. And getting on the beach is a lot different. But some people like Eddy and I just like to travel and see new beaches and new people. And I am sure he is not the only one.”