A last-minute arrival and lack of sleep cost Saint Lucia their first match at the FIVB Under-21 World Beach Volleyball Championships in Umag, Croatia.
Agustin Faulkner and Coen Caesar were no match for Edvarts Buivids and Pekmanis Reinis. In just 24 minutes they lost 21-4, 21-13 to the Latvians.
“We tried to play our best,” Caesar said. “But we didn’t even have a chance to warm up.”
The team from Saint Lucia had to move heaven and earth to get to Umag in time for their Thursday morning match-up. They left home on Tuesday but got stuck in London on Wednesday morning.
“We had to wait for a flight to Croatia and couldn’t find a hotel in London,” Faulkner said. “Today we finally flew to Zagreb and after a long bus ride we arrived in Umag.”
When they set foot on the Stella Maris Sports Complex the guys were just in time to change into their sports gear.
Get into the groove
After a crushing first-set loss, the boys recovered in the second.
Faulkner said: “We got warmed-up, we got into the groove and could read their game better. Believe me, this was not our best, we are tired, we didn’t get much sleep these last days. The first thing we are going to do right now is eat and sleep… and do better tomorrow.”
It is the first time a team from Saint Lucia qualified for the U-21 World Championships. In fact, this year the Caribbean island also qualified for the U-23 and U-19 events.
Seventeen-year-old Faulkner will also compete at the U-19 World Championships in Porto in July.
“So mark my words, I will be back,” Faulkner noted.