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2018-08-16 17:47:00 CEST

Size doesn’t matter

Latvians stand tall against the Dutch

Tocs battles at the net against MeeuwsenTocs battles at the net against Meeuwsen

By their own admission they are the underdogs in Hamburg, but Martins Plavins and Edgars Tocs are a team on the up, as they secured a crucial win against Dutch duo Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen.

Despite a noticeable difference in height – Plavins stands 190 cm, Tocs 196 cm while the Olympic bronze medalists tower at 198 cm and 207 cm – the Latvians proved they can stand up to the big hitting power of the Dutch stars.

“They are a little taller than we are,” laughed Plavins after their thrilling 2-1 victory. “They have strong attacks and they made us work every hard. Siding out, blocking and running in defense – it was hard so we’re twice as happy, especially here in the Finals.”

On the height disadvantage, Edgars added: “We try to play with less mistakes and try to make them hit over the block. We picked up some strong hits of our own. When you can do that you are equal so it doesn’t matter what size you are, or how tall you are.”

The Latvians pair have surprised even themselves with how successful they have been this season. But it was one that begun with gold in the The Hague and Tocs is happy that they have continued their form throughout the long season on the sand.

“Of course we are like underdogs,” said the 29-year-old blocker. “Nobody expected us to have the season we have – including us. We won in The Hague but there’s been plenty of ups and downs. For me personally this is the first season where I’ve played a lot of tournaments and have been away from home for such a long time.

“We’re happy to be in the main draw of so many events, including this one, and we’ll be making sure we work harder in the off season to maintain our level.”

The Latvians, who lost earlier in the day in three sets to the in-form Vikings, will take on Polish pair Fijalek/Bryl on Friday hoping to earn a place in the elimination round. Check out the match live on BeachStream.

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