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2018-08-17 21:03:00 CET

A Polish medal in the works

Fijalek and Bryl beat Italians and are set to clash with Kantor/Losiak in the semifinals

Fijalek and Bryl will try to revert a historical disadvantage in the semifinalFijalek and Bryl will try to revert a historical disadvantage in the semifinal

Poland is guaranteed its first-ever medal in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Finals presented by Vodafone as Grzegorz Fijalek and Michal Bryl advanced to the semifinals of the 2018 edition of the tournament, in Hamburg, where they’ll face compatriots Piotr Kantor and Bartosz Losiak.

Fijalek and Bryl, the silver medalists of the A1 Major Vienna presented by Swatch, booked their places in to their second-straight Beach Major Series semifinal with a 21-18, 21-18 quarterfinal victory over Italians Paolo Nicolai and Daniele, who finished third last year in Hamburg.

“It was big win for us,” a thrilled Bryl exclaimed afterwards. “We lost to them in Gstaad and it just feels great to get the victory here in such an amazing tournament. Playing another Polish team in the semifinals it’s great for our country. It shows how strong our beach volleyball is and I hope that one of us wins the gold medal tomorrow.”

Fijalek, who has been competing against Losiak and Kantor in international events for the last decade, is confident Bryl and him have what it takes to ignore the negative record against their opponents and earn their first victory against them after back-to-back defeats.

“We know each other very well as we practice together very often,” he added. “We never beat them but I’m confident it’s our time now because we’re playing much better than before. We’ll focus on our side and all we hope for is a full stadium and a great game. We’re good friends, but when the game starts we’ll definitely fight a lot for every point.”

The quarterfinal setback meant the end of the season for Lupo and Nicolai. The Rio 2016 silver medalists were hoping for back-to-back medals in the World Tour Finals after they finished third last year, but had to settle for a fifth place.

“It wasn’t our best match in the tournament, but the fifth place is a good result for us here,” Nicolai reflected. “Of course we are disappointed because we wanted to play in the final four, but it was an amazing tournament and we really enjoyed our time here.”

The second semifinal of the men’s tournament, also on Saturday, will feature Norway’s Anders Mol/Christian Sørum and the winner between Germany’s Julius Thole/Clemens Wickler and Latvia’s Martins Plavins/Edgars Tocs. The gold and bronze medal matches are also scheduled for Saturday.   

The rallies just keep getting better! Watch all of the #HamburgFinals on BeachStream [link in bio🔝] @sarah_pavan @melissahumanaparedes @bieneckschneider @vodafone_de @hamburg_de @redbullgermany

65 Likes, 1 Comments - Beach Volleyball Major Series (@beachmajorseries) on Instagram: "The rallies just keep getting better! Watch all of the #HamburgFinals on BeachStream [link in bio🔝]..."

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