Saint Lucia’s Julian Bissette and Gillan Octave sustained a tough 2-1 (21-9, 19-21, 15-10) loss at the hands of Ukraine’s Sergiy Popov and Valeriy Samoday Friday morning on the opening day of the inaugural FIVB U23 Beach Volleyball World Championships in Myslowice, Poland.
In cool conditions, the 17th-seeded Saint Lucians got off to a poor start, but improved substantially to take the second set against the 16 seeds. The Ukrainians, though, had a comeback of their own and eventually came away with the win.
In the other match in Group A, reigning FIVB U21 world champions and top seeds Bradorz Losiak and Piotr Kantor got off to a winning start, winning 2-0 (21-13, 21-17) over Italy’s Tiziano Andreatta and Nicola Tiozzo, the 32 seeds.
The Poles won the 2012 U21 World Championships in Halifax, a year after they won silver in the same event. They also won gold in the 2010 U19 World Championships and twice won the CEV European U20 Championships. They are the next opponents for Saint Lucia on Friday.
Thirty-two teams per gender are in the main draw of the inaugural FIVB U23 Beach Volleyball World Championships. The main draw started on Thursday and the tournament runs through until Sunday, June 9 when both the men’s and women’s finals take place.
Myslowice, located 70km from Poland’s ancient capital Krakow, is hosting an FIVB age-group tournament for the third time, after successfully hosting the U19 and U21 version in 2006 and 2007.
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