2016-10-06 15:43:00 CEST

When the Poles kept impressing

We remember the Rio Grand Slam

Kantor/Losiak’s excellent start to the season continued on the Copacabana. Photocredit: Mihai Stetcu.Kantor/Losiak’s excellent start to the season continued on the Copacabana. Photocredit: Mihai Stetcu.

What a start to 2016 it was for pairs from Poland! The season was only three tournaments old following the completion of the Rio Grand Slam in March – but Kantor/Losiak already had two medals tucked into their pockets.

The talented duo won bronze in the first competition of the new year at Kish Island and then reached the quarterfinals at the Maceió Open at the end of February – as did compatriots Fijalek/Prudel.

And Kantor/Losiak added a gold to their early haul thanks to a superb performance on the Copacabana, as the world’s best met for the first Grand Slam of the season. What was even more remarkable was that they also had to come through two qualification matches! Bravo boys!

Their countrymen Fijalek/Prudel also proudly flew the flag for Poland and came mighty close to winning a medal themselves – only to lose out narrowly in the fight for a bronze medal.

But it wasn’t all about the Poles of course – Pedro Solberg/Evandro, fresh from a silver medal in Maceio, finished runners-up again, going down in straights in the final.

And there was delight for the Dutch too, as Brouwer/Meeuwsen – who came into the tournament as fifth seeds – walked away with a bronze medal to show for their stunning efforts which included a dramatic 2-0 win over home favorites Alison/Bruno in the quarterfinals and another straight sets victory over the USA’s Gibb/Patterson in round two.

American fans also saw Lucena/Dalhausser exit at the quarterfinal stage but there were smiles for the stars and stripes in Rio in the women’s tournament.

April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings lifted the women’s title by storming to a 2-0 win over Polish pair Kolosinska/Brzostek in the final. It took the Americans just 31 minutes to clinch gold in emphatic style and they dropped just 28 points in the whole match.

April and Kerri beat eventual bronze medalists Borger/Büthe in the semis and saw off another German team, Ludwig/Walkenhorst, in a dramatic 2-1 victory in the quarterfinals.

Despite their home advantage and the thousands of fans behind them, the Brazilian women struggled on the sand. Top seeds Agatha/Barbara bowed out in the quarterfinals to Switzerland’s Forrer/Vergé-Dépré while Larissa/Talita’s hopes of glory was ended in the second round against Italy’s Menegatti/Orsi Toth.

But it was certainly a Slam that the Poles could be proud of with Kolosinska/Brzostek’s silver adding to Kantor/Losiak’s gold.

Next week as we continue our look-back at the exciting 2016 season with the Vitoria Open.

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