Moscow, Russia, August 9, 2018 – Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira have fond memories of competing in Moscow and the pair took their first steps in matching their gold medal run from 2015 when they won their first two matches at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Moscow 4-Star tournament on Thursday.
The Spanish duo began with a 2-1 (23-25, 21-16, 15-6) win over Lithuania’s Arnas Rumsevicius and Lukas Kazdailis, and they followed up by beating Russia’s Nikita Liamin and Viacheslav Krasilnikov 2-1 (21-19, 19-21, 15-13).
“It was amazing, but a tough match,” Gavira said after the second victory. “It was really close. We both played a good match and we both played well in defence with some good rallies.
“They are playing in their home country, so this is why we both had to play with more power. We like it when the crowd is against us, so it is no problem for us to play here.”
Herrera and Gavira’s win in 2015 was the first World Tour gold medal for a partnership that began in 2009.
Since then they have won a further two World Tour gold medals, the most recent at the Ostrava 4-Star tournament in June.
“We won our first FIVB gold medal together here and we want to repeat that, but it will be hard for sure,” Gavira added. “The level is even higher now and just one mistake can make all the difference in a match.”
Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Igor Velichko ensured that there would be at least one Russian men’s team in the second knockout round on Thursday after they recorded two wins from two.
They began against Belarus’ Aliaksandr Kavalenka and Aliaksandr Dziadkou and won 2-0 (21-12, 21-15), but they endured a tougher match against Germany’s Julius Thole and Clemens Wickler and needed a tie-break to finish winners 2-1 (17-21, 26-24, 15-10).
“It was very good today for us. It is my home town and very special to play here in front of my family and my friends. I really enjoyed that game,” Stoyanovskiy said.
“It was very tough, because the Germans have made a lot of progress this year. We prepared for them very well and now we can rest and enjoy the morning off.”
The Moscow 4-Star is the last 4-Star tournament in the 2017-18 season, and runs from August 8-12. The final tournament to take place is the Hamburg 2018 FIVB World Tour Finals that run from August 15-19.