Cubans and Mexicans pull off shock wins on second day at Copacabana

Rio de Janeiro, August 7, 2016 – Cuba’s Nivaldo Diaz and Sergio Gonzalez and Mexico’s Lombardo Ontiveros and Juan Virgen enjoyed wins against higher-ranked teams on the second day of the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games beach volleyball tournament at Copacabana Beach Arena on Sunday.

The Cubans took on Brazil’s Pedro Salgado and Evandro Goncalves and despite the vast majority of the home crowd cheering for the local pair, the Cubans fought hard throughout and won in a tie-break when Evandro served into the net. READ MORE

The Mexicans win against Italy’s Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo came in a similar fashion to the Cubans. 

They won the first set, lost the second as the higher-ranked side fought back and then won in the tie-break on their Olympic debut. READ MORE

Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena enjoyed a smoother introduction to Rio 2016 when they defeated Tunisia’s Mohamed Naceur and Choaib Salah 2-0 (21-7, 21-13).

The north Africans played a physical-style of game, but Dalhausser and Lucena’s experience was too much for them. READ MORE

In the penultimate match of the day Latvia’s Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins rallied at the very end to overcome Canada’s Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk. 

Both teams pushed each other throughout all three sets, but just as it appeared that the Canadians were about to close out the match the Latvian duo dug deep to inspire a late, late comeback to win 2-1 (21-17, 18-21, 15-13). READ MORE

Reinder Nummerdor and Christiaan Varenhorst are another of the medal contenders who didn’t slip up on a day in which strong winds made reading the flight of the ball and receiving serves difficult. 

The Dutch pair, silver medallists at the Netherlands 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, took on Chilean cousins Esteban and Marco Grimalt and finished with a 2-0 (21-16, 21-13) victory. READ MORE

Viacheslav Krasilnikov and Konstantin Semenov didn’t hang around to defeat Grzegorz Fijalek and Mariusz Prudel in the late session. 

The Russian pair defeated their Polish rivals 2-0 (21-14, 21-13) in a match in which Viacheslav made his Olympic debut and responded with a lively performance at the back of the court. READ MORE


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