The first competition of SWATCH World Tour season, the Brasilia Open, proved tough for our male FIVB Heroes. The Ingrosso brothers were the first to falter in the qualification round, while favorites Chinese Penggen Wu and Linyin Xu, following a loss in their first main draw match were eliminated earlier in the week against Italian Paolo Nicolai, who teamed up with his old partner Daniele Lupo.
Then came the big surprise for the crowd with stars Dalhausser and Rogers and Alison and Emanuel, losing in previous rounds, putting them up against each other before the semifinals. As happened in the women’s competition, a replay of last year’s final was not to be! For one pair to advance, the other pair would need to be left behind, in a highly anticipated match to be played Saturday morning!
If some FIVB Heroes struggled in the early stages of Brasilia Open, Spanish heroes Gavira and Herrera showed themselves to be in great shape, and advanced directly to semifinal!
Saturday arrived and before Brasilian supporters could even properly warm up for the FIVB Heroes face-off, a very unfortunate incident occurred involving Brasilian FIVB hero Alison. In the very first first set, while reaching for the ball Alison suffered a deep cut to his arm, obliging him to abandon the match. These warriors fight for each ball with all their heart and don’t like to give up, but it’s important to know your body’s limits. With 11 stiches in his arm, unfortunately Alison and his partner Emanuel are also out of contention for the next SWATCH World Tour leg in Poland.
Dalhausser and Rogers, on other hand, seemed to raise their game, and became unstoppable after that. They won all their following matches and qualified for yet another career final. Gavira and Herrera tried hard, but could not match the pace of their fellow FIVB Heroes, and would have to fight for the bronze medal.
Sunday, in an all-American final, Rogers and Dalhausser showed why they are the current Olympic champions, and for the third time in a row, took out the title of the Brasilia Open! Check out all the results at fivb.org! Once again FIVB Heroes ascend to the highest step of the podium, brining to a fantastic conclusion the first tournament of the year, and giving great hopes of what is to come!