Seidl and Waller bring home Haiyang gold

Haiyang, China, July 22, 2018 – Austria’s Robin Seidl and Philipp Waller made a phenomenal comeback against Brazil’s George Souto Maior Wanderly and Thiago Santos Barbosa to come out on top of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Haiyang Open on Sunday.

Seidl and Waller recorded a 2-1 (10-21, 25-23, 15-8) win to secure the gold medal in their first World Tour tournament together.

The Brazilians dictated the tempo in the first set, as George and Thiago’s offence and defence overwhelmed their rivals. Seidl took the lead in orchestrating a strong start for the Austrian side, but the Brazilians continued to put pressure on their rivals until they snatched the lead at 12-11.

The second set went down to the wire as both sides refused to give in to the pressure, but Waller’s off the block hit and Seidl’s ace levelled the match.

The Austrians sent the Brazilians crashing in the final set as Seidl’s blocking spree and Waller’s hustle built a 5-0 head start. Seidl and Waller put on a show with their excellent attacks, while their rivals struggled. Two errors from the Brazilians gave away set and match to the Austrians.

“I already had a silver and bronze and I really wanted to get the gold, so now here it is,” Seidl said. “I’m really glad because it is our first tournament together. It was a perfect and fitting win. It was really hard because we clearly lost the first set, but we kept our head in the game and kept believing. We kept doing that until the end and we won.”

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China’s Ha Likejiang and Wu Jiaxin celebrated a 2-0 (21-13, 21-13) home win to earn bronze against Brazil’s Alvaro Morais Filho and Luciano Ferreira de Paula.

As the Brazilians struggled to convert on their attack attempts, Ha and Wu delivered solid performances on offence and defence to build an 18-10 lead. The home team continued to play smartly to complete their set first win.

Wu won several points on attack and block to give China a 6-2 start, but Luciano started to get his attack game going to bring his side to within one marker. Ha and Wu took turns on the block to stop Luciano gaining momentum and extended their lead to 17-11. Ha scored three of the four final points that sealed the bronze medal win at 21-13.

“We are happy with this victory,” Ha said. “It feels like a dream. We never thought we would win this bronze medal because we know that the Brazilians are strong and hard to beat. We just did all the preparations for this match and tried our best.”


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