Gavira & Herrera avoid upset by outlasting Austrians

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 6, 2016 - Unheralded Alexander Huber and Robin Seidl had their opportunity to post Saturday’s first upset in the competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, but Spain’s Adrian Gavira and Pablo Herrera recovered from a first set setback to defeat the Austrians in the final men’s match on the opening day’s schedule.

One of the final qualifiers for the Rio Games by winning the European confederation’s Continental Cup title in late June in Norway, Huber and Seidl won the opening set over the Spaniards before Gavira and Herrera took control in the second set and had command in the decider before the Austrians rallied to make it close at the end.

In posting a 2-1 (14-21, 21-17, 15-13) Pool F win in 56 minutes, Gavira and Herrera were leading 12-9 in the deciding set before making three-straight errors to fall back to a 12-12 tie.  A Gavira attack and block earned the Spanish a 14-12 lead.  Another Spanish error made it 14-13 and Gavira won it with another successful attack.

The match was the first international meeting in two-plus years between the two teams as the Spanish defeated Huber and Seidl at the 2014 Dutch Grand Slam in The Hague.  While Huber and Seidl are making their Olympic debut, Gavira and Herrera competed together in the London 2012 Summer Games.  Herrera has now played in four Olympics with a silver medal finish at the Athens 2004 quadrennial with Javier Bosma.

In an earlier Pool F match, Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson of the United States defeated Jefferson Santos Pereira and Cherif Younousse of Qatar 2-0 (21-16, 21-16) in 35 minutes.  On Monday, Gavira and Herrera will play the Qatar pair while the Americans are challenged by Huber and Seidl.


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