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16/04/2017 20:15
Nivaldo/Gonzalez and Stockman/Dicello earn top podium spots at Langkawi
News from the FIVB

Langkawi, Malaysia, April 16, 2017. Cuba’s Nivaldo Nadir Diaz Gomez and Sergio Reynaldo Gonzalez Bayard and the United States’ Emily Stockman and Kimberly Dicello called for a well-deserved celebration as they gained top podium spots in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour – Malaysia Open finals at Pantai Cenang in Langkawi on Sunday.

The podium finishers left spectators in awe as they performed their all-out best in securing the medals at the inaugural World Tour event in Malaysia.

The Cuban men delivered a powerful finish to their campaign at Langkawi, seizing the gold medal on a 2-0 (21-17, 21-18) triumph over Austrians Florian Schnetzer and Peter Eglseer. The Rio 2016 Olympians captured their first-ever World Tour medal.

“This was a hard game for us,” Nivaldo said. “We played with them before but never in the World Tour. This is a big opportunity for us and this is our first gold in this tournament. This is also our first visit to Malaysia. This achievement was worth the 33-hour flight.”

Estonians Mart Tiisaar and Kusti Nõlvak secured the men’s bronze medal, following their straight-set (21-17, 21-17) victory over Serbians Lazar Kolaric and Djordje Klasnic.

Earlier, Nivaldo/Gonzalez rallied from a set down to win 2-1 (19-21, 21-13, 15-13) over Tiisaar/Nõlvak, while Schnetzer/Eglseer outplayed Kolaric/Klasnic 2-0 (21-19, 21-19) in the men’s semi-finals.

Meanwhile, Stockman/Dicello aced all of their tie-break matches with a nail-biting 2-1 (22-20, 22-24, 17-15) women’s gold medal win over Czech Republic’s Martina Bonnerova/Sarka Nakladalova, who could not maintain their momentum after a spectacular 2-1 (14-21, 21-14, 15-9) semi-final win over Austrian sister duo Nadine and Teresa Strauss.

Dicello had a bit of a setback when she hurt her ankle in the semi-final, but the American player was determined to continue the match. “I am very happy with the outcome and I am looking forward to the finals,” Dicello said. “I will play my best game and try to win the World Tour title.”

Dicello indeed fulfilled her promise to earn her first World Tour gold with Stockman, and improve on their fifth place at the World Tour event in Sydney last month. “It was a hot and two long days of crazy weather, but it was amazing,” Dicello said. “This is our first win of the year and we are confident that we will perform better in our next stop in China.”

Cornelia Rimser and Lena Plesiutschnig reigned in the all-Austrian bronze medal bout, where they recorded a 2-0 (21-18, 21-13) win over the Strauss sisters. The victory was a great recovery from their 2-1 (17-21, 21-10, 18-16) loss to Stockman/Dicello in the semi-finals.

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