Beach Volleyball: Building a World Cup Path with Spikes

Beach Volleyball: Building a World Cup Path with Spikes
Fecha de publicación: 
22 April 2022
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Indeed my friends, the Cuban beach volleyball duo of Leila Martínez and Lidianny Chevarría certified their pass to the World Championship of the specialty in Rome (June 10-19) after winning the final of the qualifying group B played in Macao, Punta Cana Dominican resort defeating the Canadian twins Megan and Nicole McNamara.

A match that undoubtedly qualified as a heartbreaker, paraphrasing René Navarro, because despite being defined in two sets, the nerves were on edge during the 49 minutes of the match, the scores of 24-22 and 25-23 and won the chance to world championship, the same as their rivals, since both finalist made it.

Cuban girls just added 320 points to their current 1,600 in the world ranking moving them to position 42nd with presence in four previous scoring competitions, they had a strong tournament; because before beating the hosts Payano-Rosario in semi-finals 2-0 (21-14, 21-14) in 33 minutes, they had dominated their group with a balance of two wins, a rating-performance of 2,211, the highest between the teams in competition, and 84 points in favor and only 38 points against.

The Cuban duo, who already had experience with a couple of months in the Tokyo Olympic Games, where they finished in 12th position, need to expand their competitive scope, essentially against better ranked pairs, if they want to keep improving. Therefore the World Cup event in Rome seems like an excellent stage to prove their worth as they try to get closer to privilege positions owned by the Dutch Staam-Schoon (4,860 units with 14 participations).

Right there a handicap of our girls shows: most of the best in the ranking double their participation in important tournaments.

Now in Punta Cana, Canadians Daniel Dearing-Sam Schachter defeated the Nicaraguans Rubén Mora-Denis López 2-0 (22-20, 21-14) in 39 minutes, and both duets ensured their ticket in the world tournament.

Meanwhile, in the qualifying section played in Santo Domingo, the Mexican Atenas Gutiérrez-María José Quintero, and the North American Corinne Quiggley-Sarah Schermerhorn, earned the right to attend Rome, honoring their status as leaders in their respective groups.

That was before the rain spoiled the chance for men in Santo Domingo, because the semi-finalist matches between Cubans Noslen Díaz-Jorge Luis Alayo and their Mexican counterparts Cruz-Aguirre, as well as the one between the United States-Puerto Rico, according to information provided by the Norceca website.

The Norceca will consult the International Federation to see if this competition can be inserted and finished in any of the following stops of the Norceca Circuit, which starts later this month, and get to know the two duets, those who emerge winners of those matches.

The reality of our men differs. Although it’s true that they have notorious potentialities and have proven it in the I Pan American Games Junior from Cali-Valle, Colombia, at the end of last year, they can still consider themselves “green” in the sands of the world elite. Actually, they barely appear in position 228 in the ranking with 304 points corresponding to two scoring competitions, so, in their case, quality competitions should increase much more than their women equals. In order to attain that, logically they will have to earn it though powerful spikes, effective services and accurate blocks.

In the ranking for men, it’s the Qataris Cherif-Ahmed (5,760) who are first in the ranking, meanwhile, for our Norceca region, the best positioned duo is that of Norh Americans Schalk-Brunner (9th -3,500 pts).

Of course, for both duets it will be difficult to continue ensuring presence in the world circuit, since we are talking about the first year of the Olympic cycle o the way to Paris 2024; of a discipline that doesn’t fall within the so-called group of strategic sports and habitual contributors of medals in top-level competitions; and also the situation is known and real of the budgetary crisis faced by Inder, mirroring the objective economic situation that our country is undergoing, and from which it makes huge efforts to recover.

With all these variables at hand, or the sand in this case, it will be necessary to see if the spikes, game rhythm, and muscles of our beach volleyball pairs, don’t get rusty.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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