2017-08-27 14:58:00 CET
Olympic silver medalists win bronze in Hamburg
Paolo Nicolai was a happy man after he and teammate Daniele Lupo claimed bronze at the Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals presented by Vodafone.
The Italians came into the tournament after winning their second successive European Championship title – but it was their disappointment at finishing outside the top 10 in the World Champs in Vienna that fuelled the fire in Germany.
In a high-quality bronze medal match against Polish duo Piotr Kantor and Bartosz Losiak, the Olympic silver medalists of 2016 in three sets 21-17, 19-21, 15-12.
And blocker Nicolai was pleased that their frustration on Austrian sand two weeks ago was softened by taking third place at the Rothenbaum.
“It’s been a good season and this makes up a little for the World Championships – my mind will always think about that,” said the 29-year-old.
“We’ve had an amazing season, we’ve finished six times on the podium in 10 tournaments but we can always be better.
“We always try to play better and to fix what we haven’t done so well but now we have time to do that and have a little bit of rest.”
Lupo added: “We are really satisfied. We lost our semifinal match in the morning and it’s good to see that we managed to refocus for this game. They played really well in the second set and we were not so aggressive. We are happy with the bronze, but there is always a bit of frustration because we wanted the gold.”
Fourth place was tough for Losiak to take but the Pole was still able to take the positives from another solid tournament.
“Last year we finished fifth in Toronto so I’m happy that we made one place here,” he said. “Next year we hope we can go one place better and get a medal.”
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