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2018-08-15 14:45:00 CEST

A strong first impression

Plavins and Tocs debuted in the World Tour Final with a massive victory

Plavins and Tocs are making their first World Tour Finals appearancePlavins and Tocs are making their first World Tour Finals appearance

Martins Plavins and Edgars Tocs are one of the five men’s teams debuting in the Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals presented by Vodafone, but the fact that they are first-timers among the elite didn’t stop the Latvians from making a great first impression in Hamburg.

In their first match in Pool B, the Latvians achieved an impressive three-set (34-32, 17-21, 15-12) victory over Spanish Pablo Herrera and Adrián Gavira, who are currently ranked fifth in the world and collected three medals in the World Tour this season.

“They are seeded really high in the world ranking for a reason,” Plavins said afterwards. “The first set was very stressing for us because we had a three-point lead and almost lost it. Both teams were tired in the second and they managed to play better than us. The third set was a comeback for us and I’m glad we did it because it was very hard after losing the second set.”

For the Latvians, who are finishing their first season  together as a team, the tournament in Hamburg is giving them an important opportunity to play against the teams in the world. To Plavins, a bronze medalist from the 2012 London Olympics, the duo has a lot to improve from its experience in their first Finals appearance.

“Every team here is really good and just to have to play all of these guys on pool play is a different experience for us,” he added. “We are never going to have a pool as tough as this one. We are very happy that we managed to qualify and to start on the right foot. Our coach said we can beat anything team in the world and we are happy that we showed we deserve his confidence.”

For Tocs, making the most of their experience in the Finals is the first step for the team to come back stronger when the next season kicks off.

“We’re just enjoying it,” Tocs commented. “The atmosphere in the venue is amazing and it’s a perfect ending for our season. We are coming from a bad tournament in Moscow and it’s important that we end the year well so we go to the offseason camp in good spirits and work to improve in the areas we need.”

The Latvians will return to action on Thursday, when they play Norway’s Anders Mol and Christian Sørum. Herrera and Gavira will be back on the court tonight, when they face Dutchmen Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen.

And we're off! Watch all the action from #HamburgFinals live on BeachStream [link in bio☝️] @kantybv @kantorlosiakbvt @oleg.stoyanovskiy @velichko_ov @vodafone_de @hamburg_de @redbullgermany

549 Likes, 1 Comments - Beach Volleyball Major Series (@beachmajorseries) on Instagram: "And we're off! Watch all the action from #HamburgFinals live on BeachStream [link in bio☝️]..."

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