Lucerne, Switzerland, May 14, 2016 – It was payback time for Arnaud Loiseau and Arnaud Gauthier-Rat Saturday at the FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Championships in Lucerne. The French boys finally took revenge against Argentina’s Leo Aveiro and Santiago Aulisi, who they lost to in the quarterfinals of the Youth Olympic Games and at the U19 in Porto in 2014.
“It feels so good. It’s been a while since I enjoyed that much winning a game”, said Gauthier-Rat, after the 2-1 (21-14, 22-24, 15-12) victory.
The match in the first elimination round of the U21 was a final of it’s own and with lots of rallies very much entertaining for the crowd on centre court. The stadium was flooded in the morning due to the heavy rain in the past few days, but opened up again in the afternoon.
The Arnauds had the opportunity to finish the game in the second set at 20-19, but the Argentineans fought back and enforced a tiebreak on their third set point.
In the tiebreak the French took a lead from the start with strong serving and powerful attacks. On their second match point Loiseau hit a winner down the line and the French team exploded with joy.
“It was a very difficult game”, Gauthier-Rat said. “We played Argentina twice before. And we lost both. So it was really important to win this game.”
Their play went up and down, with a lot of winners, but also a lot of balls going wide. Gaulthier-Rat: “In the group we lost some matches we should not have lost, because we were too kind and too nice serving. So we chose to put more pressure on the serve, even though it would take some faults.”
In the next knockout round they play Norway’s Anders Berntsen Mol and Mathias Berntsen. “And that will be another opportunity to take revenge”, Gaulthier-Rat said. “Because they beat us in the final of the European Championship (CEV U20 in Cyprus) last year. I twisted my knee during the game, so we couldn’t finish it. This time it will be different and we will do our best to win.”
Norway advanced two teams in the last 16. Brazil and Russia also have two teams still in the tournament. The other pairs in the second elimination round come from Austria, Germany, Poland, Uruguay, Venezuela, Finland, Mexico, Thailand and Switzerland.Quick linksFIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Championships Lucerne 2016Men - Qualification resultsWomen - Qualification resultsMen - Main draw resultsWomen - Main draw results