VARADERO, Cuba, July 17, 2017 – Home crowd favorites Sergio Gonzalez and Nivaldo Diaz did not disappoint the local fans as local pair responded with a 2-0 (21-18, 24-22) victory over Jeremy Casebeer and John Mayer of United States to grab the gold medal at the Varadero Beach Volleyball Tournament, the fourth stop of the NORCECA Circuit on Sunday.
It was the third consecutive crown for the tandem of Nivaldo and Sergio in Varadero – and ninth overall- to go along with a silver medal in 2014.
The Rio Olympics fifth placed Gonzalez and Diaz advanced to the title match after a 2-0 (21-18, 21-14) victory over compatriots Luis Reyes and José Luis Aguilera while Casebeer and Mayer defeated Canadians Fiodar Kazhamiaka and Sergey Gravobsky 2-0 (21-18, 21-18).
Reyes and Aguilera then engaged in a grueling battle with Kazhamiaka and Grabovsky eventually winning in three sets 2-1 (21-17, 19-21, 16-14) for the bronze medal.
Nivaldo, who played the whole tournament while nursing an injured right hand said: “I thought the match was going to be less complicated but after a few days without being able to attack well I kind of lost my sync and it made the match longer.”
Meanwhile Sergio highlighted the importance of keeping the dominance at home and for 200 points to help their world ranking.
“It was really good to continue winning in our place and it was good to get the 200 points that helps our position in the world ranking. Both teams made many mistakes, but we were able to overcome that and get the win. We are happy about giving our country another triumph.”