Cubans feed off Copacabana crowd to defeat home favourites

Rio de Janeiro, August 7, 2016 – Cuba’s Nivaldo Diaz and Sergio Gonzalez began their Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games campaign by beating Brazil’s Pedro Salgado and Evandro Goncalves 2-1 (24-22, 21-23, 15-13) at the Copacabana Beach Arena on Sunday. 

Here’s what they said after the match….

Nivaldo Diaz, Cuba
“They are a really strong team and we both played really well. Beating a Brazil team in Rio was a good incentive to win and a great result.

“At the beginning I was really nervous as it was my first Olympic Games. But I enjoyed playing in front of that crowd and felt my confidence grow as the game went on.”

Pedro Salgado, Brazil
“We don’t see them very often, but they have a very good side-out and they are very athletic, jump high and hit strong. We didn’t play good at the net today, they played better and deserved the win.

“I don’t know (what went wrong), we didn’t play our best. 

“I can’t wait to play again, I wish I could play right now, but now it is time to go home, relax and study the next team and come back stronger.”


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