Itapema, Brazil, May 17, 2018 – Competing in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour in Brazil has been synonymous with success for Bartosz Losiak and Piotr Kantor. With good memories and a desire for new achievements on their minds, the Polish debut on the $300,000 Itapema Open this Thursday, when the main draw starts.
It might be the first time the World Tour goes to Itapema, but Kantor and Losiak already have a long history competing in Brazil. The Europeans have played in nine international tournaments in the country and some of them were memorable moments of their careers.
For starters, it was in Brazil, in 2014, that the three-time youth world champions won their first-ever World Tour medal, a bronze in Sao Paulo. Two years later, in Rio de Janeiro, the Polish returned to the podium in the country, now to win their first international gold.
Last year, when the World Tour returned to Rio, they completed their collection of different hardware in the country winning silver. The only memories to leave a bad taste in their mouths are the ones of the 2016 Rio Olympics, when Kantor and Losiak had a disappointing 17th-place finish.
“We’ve played in Brazil a lot of times and we won some important medals here,” Losiak said. “We like playing here, but it will be the first time in Itapema so we’ll see. We had all these medals, but at the same time, we didn’t play well in the Olympics, so it’s 50-50.”
“We still think about it and the problem was that we didn’t play well. That’s what disappointed us. The result was not good, but it was our first time in the Olympics and we could live with it, but we didn’t play well and that was the problem.”
Losiak and Kantor celebrate their first World Tour gold medal in Rio de Janeiro two years ago
If they can compete for medals at the Itapema Open, Kantor and Losiak will continue their successful run in 2018.
The team has played in six tournaments this year and recorded top-5 finishes in five of them, including two silver medals – in the World Tour four-star event in the The Hague and in the European Masters.
“We want to keep playing at a high level all year,” Losiak added. “In 2017 we had very good moments, but also some bad ones. We started the year really well, showing good consistency with several top-5 finishes and we want to keep playing this way until the end of the season.”
The third-seeded team of the Itapema Open, the Polish will debut in the four-star tournament on Thursday against Brazilian qualifiers Ramon Ferreira and Fernando Magalhaes.