German and Polish duos show their power in Assen
2012 CEV U23 Beach Volleyball European Championship
Assen, Netherlands, July 19, 2012. The teams from Germany and Poland showed their domination in the second day of the 2012 CEV U23 Beach Volleyball European Championship and lead the race for semi-finals in the exciting tournament being held in the Dutch city of Assen.
Once the pool phase was finished, the following rounds did not leave good news for the Dutch representation, as the local teams failed to qualify for the third round and will be forced to make their way through the losers playoffs to maintain their options in the tournament.
In the men’s competition, after the elimination of van Wijk/van de Velde in the pool round, the duo Vismans/van Werkhoven kept the responsibility of defending the local honor. However, the Dutch squad lost in Round 1 against Regza/Abolins from Latvia and will have to fight in the losers play-offs. The women’s tournament left a better picture for the Dutch teams, as both Braakman/Sinnema and Hullegie/Bons will play in the losers round, since the two teams were defeated by Aulenbrock/Bieneck from Germany and Chaika/Abalakina from Russia, respectively.
“We are still growing”, said Rimke Braakman; “This match (against the German team) was played at very high level and I think we played well but we couldn’t close the key points”, she added. As for the results achieved by the rest of the Dutch representation, the local star commented: “Maybe they will not fight for the title, with the exception of the men’s team. I also think that Hullegie/Bons can make a few surprises because they have been playing at good level and they can beat a couple of teams”, pointed out Braakman, who added: “As for us, I hope we can make it to semi-finals”.
The troubles encountered by duos from the Netherlands offered a window of opportunity to Polish and German teams, who presented their candidacies to fight for the top positions of the tournament. Especially successful was the performance by Germany, as all the four teams from this country qualified for the third round. Either in men’s and women’s competitions, both duos from Germany will face each other in the third round, which guarantees at least a German semi-finalist in each category.
“I think our teams are playing a very good tournament”, said German Jonas Schröder, who together with teammate Armin Dollinger will play against fellow countrymen Dittelbach/Drößler for a spot in the semi-finals. “We will have a semi-finalist in men and in women, so I think we must be very happy”. “I hope we can beat the other German team in the third round, to be honest”, commented Armin Dollinger. “Yes, our goal is definitively a medal”, added Schröder.
The other third round match will face Kantor/Losiak from Poland against Popov/Samoday from Ukraine. The team from Ukraine also established its condition of candidate to the title in this second day, as the 2011 FIVB Junior World Champions and 2009 FIVB Youth World Champions finished the pool round with three convincing victories and earned their qualification to the third round signing an impressive triumph against Patak/Herich from Slovakia. “We rather do not think on how far we can get in the tournament; we just want to play”, said Valeriy Samoday. “We did not have a lot of time to practice before this competition, so we are not focusing on if we are favourites or not”, added the Ukrainian player.
As for the women’s tournament, both German teams, Laboureur/Walkenhorst and Aulenbrock/Bieneck, qualified for the third round and will clash against each other to be in semi-finals. The other third round match will cast Chaika/Abalakina from Russia against Kolosinska/Paszek from Poland.
“We all want to win here but we do have the experience”, said Daria Paszek from Poland; “My teammate (Kinga Kolosinska) was second last year so I think we can keep on being favourites; we will see”, she commented.
The excitement will continue in Stadbroek and Koopmansplein venues in the Dutch city of Assen, as the 2012 CEV U23 Beach Volleyball European Championship reaches the defining point in the fight for the medals.
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