Cuba’s men claimed a shock victory over Poland of the second day of the Beach Volleyball World Championships in The Netherlands.
Having lost a closely fought opening set 22-20 Nivaldo Diaz and Sergio Gonzalez, the lowest ranked pairing in the 48-team men’s competition, looked destined for defeat in their opening match to Poland’s Michal Kadziola and Jakub Szalankiewicz.
The duo put the disappointment of the opening set behind them, however, to force a decider at the Hofvijver Stadium court, located in front of The Netherlands’ central Government building in The Hague, comfortably winning the second set 21-13.
They completed the comeback by winning the decider 15-12, to move to joint top of the Pool A standings with the home favourites and top seeds, Reinder Nummerdor and Christiaan Varenhorst, who beat El Salvador’s Carlos Escobar and David Vargas on the opening day of the tournament.
The Netherlands also enjoyed success in pool A of the men’s event as Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen claimed a straight sets 21-16, 21-16 win over Austria’s Robin Seidl and Alexander Huber in Pool E, the match taking place in Rotterdam.
There was disappointment, though, for the hosts pairing Tim Oude Elferink and Dann Spijkers as they were outclassed by the United States’ Tri Bourne and John Hyden in Pool I as the Americans recorded a straightforward 21-9, 21-14 win.
They share the lead in the pool with Switzerland’s Philip Gabathuler and Mirco Gerson after they recorded a straight sets 21-15, 21-11 victory over Puerto Rico’s Erick Haddock and Roberto Rodriquez-Bertran.
There was also a comfortable win for Melissa Humana-Paredes and Taylor Pischke of Canada in the women’s competition as they overcame Guatemalan sisters Maria Andrea and Maria Jose Orellana 21-11, 21-7.
They will now be seeking to inflict revenge on Dutch pairing Madelein Meppelink and Marleen Van Iersel in their second pool match, having been beaten by them at last month’s Brazilian Grand Slam in Sao Paulo.
Brazil enjoyed a superb day in the women’s competition as all three of their teams secured victories.
Larissa Franca Maestrini and Talita Da Rocha Antunes claimed a 21-15, 18-21 15-10 win over The Netherlands’ Sophie van Gestel and Jantine van der Vlist.
Meanwhile in Apeldoorn, Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas de Freitas secured a straight sets 21-17, 23-21 win over Cuba’s Leila Consuelo Martinez Ortega and Lianma Flores Stable in Pool F.
Their feat was replicated by their compatriots Juliana Felisberta da Silva and Maria Antonelli in Pool G as they defeated Algeria’s Meriem Boucheta and Louiza Bayou in 21-7 21-0 in Amsterdam.
June 2015: Big names make winning start at Beach Volleyball World Championships