Film Room Friday: Chileans Esteban And Marco Grimalt in Las Vegas
They’re all the craze these days, these hard-swinging, high-flying Chileans. With Anders Mol sitting out with an injury, the beach volleyball world needed something to turn to, something new and shiny about which to get excited. Enter Marco and Esteban Grimalt.
“They,” John Hyden said at the NORCECA qualifier on Wednesday afternoon, “are hot right now.” Hotter than any team in the world. First came Sydney, a three-star Down Under. Six matches, six wins, the final of which came in the gold medal match over Italy’s sprinting and shooting and skyballing Adrian Carambula and Enrico Rossi. It marked the second win of their careers, which began nearly a decade ago on the world tour without a single partner switch since. The third gold wouldn’t take long. They had barely posed for photos on the podium before they were off to Doha, relegated back to the qualifier held just two days later. No matter. Down went Germans Lars Fluggen and Nils Ehlers. Back to main draw they went, where they performed one three-set comeback after the next. Three times they dropped the first set in elimination matches — to Norway, to Brazil, to Poland — and three times they rallied. In the gold medal match, there would be no third set necessary. It took all of 33 minutes to win their second gold in as many weeks, topping Americans Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena, 21-15, 21-15. The Grimalts have been so good, in fact, that the last team to actually win a three-set match against them came five months ago, at p1440 Las Vegas. Spaniards Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira, in the first round of the elimination bracket, won a thriller, 21-18, 19-21, 15-11. The Grimalts’ record since then: 13-1. Two gold medals. Unofficial title as the hottest team in the world.
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