Make no mistake, the new stars of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour are Chilean cousins Marco and Esteban Grimalt.
They completed their second win in a row on tour with an impressive 21-15, 21-15 victory over Nick Lucena and Phil Dalhausser of the U.S.
Although the Grimalts won the Sydney 3-star last week and Lucena and Dalhausser are long-time beach legends, these two pairs entered the tournament seeded 18th and 17th. So much for seedings.
“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.”
For the American duo, both now 39 years old, it was their first appearance on the World Tour since last August. But Dalhausser almost retired during the off-season.
“I did some soul searching this off-season and I was so close to retiring, so close,” Dalhausser said. “But something sparked into me and totally switched my mind-set and I feel like I have a new life in beach volleyball. The goal is gold in Tokyo (2020 Olympic Games), that’s the long-term goal, obviously the goal here is gold.”
They are off to a good start. Summaries:
FIVB World Tour
Doha (QAT) ~ 12-16 March 2019
(Full results here)
Men: 1. Marco Grimalt/Esteban Grimalt (CHI); 2. Nick Lucena/Phil Dalhausser (USA); 3. Pablo Herrera/Adrian Gavira (ESP); 4. Michal Bryl/Grzegorz Fijalek (POL). Third: Herrera/Gavira d. Bryl/Fijalek, 2-0 (21-17, 23-21). Final: Grimalt/Grimalt d. Lucena/Dalhauser, 2-0 (21-15, 21-15).