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2018-08-15 19:23:00 CEST

Kantor and Losiak take down Latvian nemesis

The Polish beat Samoilovs and Smedins for the first time since 2016

Kantor blocks Samoilovs at the Red Bull Beach ArenaKantor blocks Samoilovs at the Red Bull Beach Arena

Bartosz Losiak and Piotr Kantor are off to a great start in the Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals presented by Vodafone as the Polish rising stars won both of their first two matches to top Pool A after the first day of tournament in Hamburg.

The Poles, who had defeated Russians Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Igor Velichko in the morning session, returned to the sand some hours later to take down Latvians Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins 21-17, 21-18) at the Red Bull Beach Arena.

“It was a good start for us, with two big wins,” Losiak commented. “Both teams won medals last week in Moscow and are tough opponents. It wasn’t great, we still made several mistakes, but the most important is that we won both matches. I think we had good serves in crucial moments and had a good performance in blocking and defending.”

Their victory had also put an end to an inconvenient trend involving them and the Latvians, who have historically been tough opponents to the Under-19, Under-21 and Under-23 world champions.

It was just the third victory of the Polish duo over Samoilovs and Smedins in ten matches and their first triumph against the rivals since 2016, when the teams crossed paths in Rio de Janeiro.

“I didn’t have that in mind coming in to the game, but it’s certainly nice to get this victory in such an important moment,” Losiak added. “Against them it’s always tough. We practiced inside the stadium with the closed roof yesterday and that might have helped us because it gets a lot different if you are not used to it.”

Kantor and Losiak will try to keep their good form on Thursday, when they meet Italians Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai. The Latvians, who are facing the risk of early elimination in Hamburg, will play a crucial match against Stoyanovskiy and Velichko.

20 wins in a row for the @beachvolleyvikings!😱 Watch all of the #HamburgFinals on BeachStream [link in bio 🏐] @andybmol @christiansorum @fijalekbryl @vodafone_de @hamburg_de @redbullgermany

445 Likes, 3 Comments - Beach Volleyball Major Series (@beachmajorseries) on Instagram: "20 wins in a row for the @beachvolleyvikings!😱 Watch all of the #HamburgFinals on BeachStream [link..."

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