Doha, Qatar, March 16, 2019 – Marco and Esteban Grimalt won their second FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour gold medal in two weeks when they beat Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena in the Doha 4-Star Katara Cup on Saturday.
The Chilean cousins beat the American pair 2-0 (21-15, 21-15) to add their first 4-Star gold to the Sydney 3-Star gold they won last Sunday.
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The Katara Beach Cup was the fifth time that Qatar has hosted a World Tour tournament. It began on March 12 and finished on March 16 at the Katara Cultural Village.
“It was a crazy two weeks, and we are so proud of our team, our family and our country,” Esteban Grimalt said. “I don’t have words to describe our feelings right now.
“When we started on the World Tour nine years ago it was against Dalhausser (and Todd Rogers) and now many years later we have beaten him in a final. It is a dream come true for us, but we want more and to keep improving.”
After the Grimalt won the Sydney 3-Star they flew 14 hours to reach the Qatari capital and competed in the qualification tournament on Tuesday. Their victory in Sydney was their second World Tour victory in the past year following gold at the Tokyo 3-Star in July.
Much of the turnaround is down to the influence of Brazilian coach Paulo Moreira de Costa, better known as Paulao. He has many years of experience coaching on the World Tour and is now bringing it to bear on a team who made their Tour debut in 2011.
“He is an excellent coach,” Esteban Grimalt said. “He has given us so many new ideas and gives us so much information before every game. Because of that we are more prepared before every game. He is part of our team and it is a dream for all of us.”
For Dalhausser and Lucena the silver is their first World Tour medal since the won the Fort Lauderdale 5-Star in March 2018.
The Americans enjoyed a long off-season and the Doha 4-Star was their first tournament since August 2018. They appeared back to their best in Doha and before the gold medal match had lost only one set in five matches.
Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira won bronze when they defeated Poland’s Grzegorz Fijalek and Michal Bryl. The Spaniards won 2-0 (21-17, 22-20).
The bronze is Herrera and Gavira’s first World Tour medal since they won silver at the Gstaad 5-Star and will provide them with vital points as they chase qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
“It was a tough match,” Gavira said. “We were in the bronze medal match so I think we have played a good tournament and really, really happy to start the year like this. Now we have one week off at home and have to celebrate with family and friends and then work hard.”