Late call signals home delights for Fuchs and Kaczmarek
The German pair only found out from the German Volleyball Federation on Monday that they would be participating in Poland, so quickly jumped in their cars and drove across the border to be ready for the qualification round.
They didn’t hang around to reach the main draw with a 2-0 (21-17, 21-18) victory over the Canadian pair.
“It is great to be in the main draw here in Poland. It is a dream come true,” Fuchs said. “We only knew that we were playing here on Monday and we are really happy as we played well and now we are looking forward to playing in the main draw with some of the best teams in the world.
“We have the National Championships next week, so we were thinking about next week and having a good practice week and then going onto the National Championships. So it is a good change of plan.”
Fuchs and Kaczmarek have been playing well in the German National Tour and have won two gold medals and one bronze in recent months.
For Kaczmarek in particular reaching the main draw at Stare Jablonki is especially poignant as he was born in Myslowice. Appropriately the town in south-east Poland is a long-time venue on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour and hosted the FIVB U23 World Championships in 2013 and 2014.
“We were confident in Germany, but it is a change as the best players in the world are here,” Kaczmarek said. “We were in good shape in Germany and we just thought about showing it here and it went well.
“For me personally it is special to play here because I was born in Poland and it is my home country. Last year we played the World Championships here and it is always a pleasure to come to my home country.”
Estonians roared into main draw
Another team that didn’t have too far to travel were Estonia’s Kristo Kollo and Rivo Vesik, who were cheered into the main draw by their family and friends who had followed them to Poland to watch them in action.
They were in good voice as Kollo and Vesik beat France’s Youssef Krou and Edouard Rowlandson 2-1 (21-14, 15-21, 15-13) to progress.
“The French are a strong team and had enjoyed some good results lately,” Vesik said. “We knew it would be tough and it was good to watch for the spectators.
“It is always a relief to qualify for the main draw and seeing as we haven’t played many tournaments this year and this is our third World Tour event for us this year, this is already a good achievement for us.”
The pair previously played in the Klagenfurt Grand Slam Anapa Open in this year’s World Tour and they had to battle hard to win a match that last 47 minutes.
“They are friends from Estonia and family,” Kollo explained. “It is always good to know that someone is supporting you on the side of the court and it makes it easier to play well.”
The double-gender US$800,000 FIVB Stare Jablonki Grand Slam runs from Tuesday August 19 until Sunday August 24 when the men’s medal matches take place. It is the 13th event and the ninth Grand Slam on the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar that features 10 Grand Slams and nine Open tournaments.
The 2014 World Tour began at the Fuzhou Open in China in April and concludes at the Durban Open in South Africa in December. Next up on the World Tour calendar is the Sao Paolo Grand Slam which runs from September 23-28.