Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 11, 2016 - Two seasons ago, Grzegorz Fijalek and Mariusz Prudel were the fourth-ranked team on the FIVB World Tour and now the Polish Olympians are on the “brink of elimination” from the Beach Volleyball competition at the Rio 2016 Olympics Games.
Fijalek and Prudel fought off possible elimination here Thursday mid-day by posting a 2-1 (21-13, 16-21, 15-11) Pool E win in 56 minutes over the Chilean Grimalt cousins (Esteban and Marco), the South American Continental Cup qualifiers for the Copacabana quadrennial. It was the third international meeting the two teams with the Poles now winning all three matches
By ousting the Grimalts, Fijalek and Prudel face the prospect of playing later Thursday at 11 p.m. (local time) in one of two men’s “lucky loser” matches with the winner advancing to Friday and Saturday’s “Round of 16” elimination bracket matches at the 12,000-seat “Coliseu on Copacabana”.
After the two teams split the first two sets, the decider featured six ties and two lead changes with Fijalek and Prudel breaking away from a 6-6 deadlock with an 8-2 run to take a commanding 14-8 advantage. The Grimalts fought off three match points to make in 14-11. Fijalek made up for hitting errors on the previous serves to post the match winner.