Klagenfurt, Austria, July 29, 2016 - Yesterday’s men’s news from the US$800,000 A1 Major Klagenfurt continued to be a story here Friday featuring young pairs from Norway, Russian and the United States, but a Polish team playing in their first-ever FIVB World Tour event were also making the headlines during the final pool play round.
With his Polish Olympic partner Piotr Kantor sidelined with an injury, the 24-year old Bartosz Losiak is playing with 21-year old Michal Bryl this week at the A1 Major Klagenfurt where the 11th-seeded pair won their third-straight Pool F match Friday with a 2-0 (19-21, 21-18, 15-13) victory in 45 minutes over sixth-seeded and Rio-bound Reinder Nummerdor and Christiaan Varenhorst of The Netherlands.
“It is better for Piotr to rest and prepare for Rio,” said Losiak, who did play once with Bryl at the 2014 FIVB under-23 World Championships where the pair placed fifth. “It was a tough qualifying process for the Olympics and Piotr has played hurt the past two months. He had to the rest and I needed to compete to stay in shape and connected with the tour. So far, Michal and I have played well together this week.”
Combined with their wins Thursday over pairs from Brazil and the United State, Losiak and Bryl are guaranteed a ninth-place finish in the A1 Major Klagenfurt and earned a “bye” with seven other men’s teams into the second-round of elimination Saturday.
The “young guns” winning groups Friday were 16th-seeded Oleg Stoyanovskiy/Artem Yarzutkin of Russia (Pool A), 24th-seeded qualifiers Taylor and Trevor Crabb of the United States (Pool H) and 28th-seeded qualifiers Anders Mol/Christian Sorum of Norway (Pool F) as each team finished with 3-0 match marks. The Crabb brothers and Norwegians are 5-0 this week as each had to win two matches Wednesday to qualify for the Main Draw.
Other group winners Friday were second-seeded Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen of The Netherlands (Pool B), third-seeded Ben Saxton/Chaim Schalk of Canada (Pool C), fourth-seeded Saymon Barbosa/Gustavo "Guto" Carvalhaes of Brazil and 10th-seeded Grzegorz Fijalek Mariusz/Prudel of Poland. Except for Saymon and Guto, the other three teams will be playing next week on Copacabana when the Rio 2016 Olympic competition begins.
With the women’s competition concluding Saturday with the “final four” matches featuring teams from Argentina, Germany and Switzerland, the men’s schedule will feature two rounds of elimination to set the schedule for Sunday’s semi-final and medal contests. The winning teams will share the $57,000 first-place prize.