Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira of Spain and Marco Grimalt and Esteban Grimalt of Chile completed the line-up for the men’s round of 16 at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic beach volleyball tournament. On Saturday evening at Shiokaze Park, the two duos emerged victorious from the two lucky-loser matches.

An epic first set between Herrera and Gavira and their Polish opponents Piotr Kantor and Bartosz Losiak went Spain’s way after several set points were denied on both sides of the net. The second set was very competitive as well and was also decided by the narrowest of margins, only this time in favour of Kantor and Losiak. However, the tie-breaker was completely one-sided and the experienced Spaniards managed to celebrate with a 2-1 (31-29, 21-19, 15-7) victory.

“It was an amazing game for us! All four of us on the court played good beach volleyball, amazing for the spectators. That kind of matches are important for the sport,” Gavira told Volleyball World. “We had to keep our calm, we needed to play strong side-out and our adrenaline was the key in the third set and the match. We are really happy about it. We needed a victory like that. Now we want to enjoy the moment and rest.”

Marco Grimalt against Adrian Heidrich

Marco Grimalt against Adrian Heidrich

The last match on Saturday’s programme was more one-sided. The Grimalts had the lead during most of the game and although their opponents, Adrian Heidrich and Mirco Gerson of Switzerland, kept the fight on through the end, the Chileans mastered a 2-0 (21-17, 21-18) victory to catch the last train to the round of 16.

All round of 16 fixtures on August 2 (* to be played on August 1):

Ilya Leshukov & Konstantin Semenov (ROC) v Marco Grimalt & Esteban Grimalt (CHI)

* Anders Mol & Christian Sorum (NOR) v Alexander Brouwer & Robert Meeuwsen (NED)

Evandro Goncalves & Bruno Schmidt (BRA) v Martins Plavins & Edgars Tocs (LAT)

Josue Gaxiola & Jose Luis Rubio (MEX) v Alison Cerutti & Alvaro Filho (BRA)

* Cherif Younousse & Ahmed Tijan (QAT) v Nick Lucena & Phil Dalhausser (USA)

Michal Bryl & Grzegorz Fijalek (POL) v Paolo Nicolai & Daniele Lupo (ITA)

Jake Gibb & Tri Bourne (USA) v Julius Thole & Clemens Wickler (GER)

Pablo Herrera & Adrian Gavira (ESP) v Viacheslav Krasilnikov & Oleg Stoyanovskiy (ROC)