Xiamen, China, April 25, 2019 – Poland’s Michal Bryl and Grzegorz Fijalek have a clear path in mind towards the 2019 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships.
Poland’s Michal Bryl and Grzegorz Fijalek hold a strong position in the lead up to the 2019 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships. The pair are currently ranked fifth in the world after going from strength to strength in 2018, but had a shaky start against qualifiers Sergiy Popov and Iaroslav Gordieiev from Ukraine in their opening match in Xiamen.
Popov/Gordieiev caught them by surprise in the first set, but the Polish turned the match in their favour, 2-1 (16-21, 21-17, 15-10).
Ukraine's Iaroslav Gordieiev faces Michal Bryl at the net alongside partner Grzegorz Fijalek
“Now I’m happy but inside the court I was a little bit scared for our victory because we started very slowly. But we are very happy we won this kind of game when we started very bad and step by step we beat them. I hope that we keep our level, from the last set for Saturday and Sunday,” said Fijalek.
The Polish pair are taking nothing for granted and will place all of their attention on getting results in Xiamen and Itapema in preparation for the Hamburg World Championships in June.
“Our preparation is going well, we try to focus on each tournament, but after a few weeks we will focus more on the World Championships. Now we are here and we focus on this tournament and then we will focus again on Itapema,” said Fijalek.
Michal Bryl and Grzegorz Fijalek top their pool at the Xiamen Open
It will be 31-year-old Fijalek’s fifth World Championships with his best result a quarterfinal finish in 2011 with former partner Mariusz Prudel. Bryl and Fijalek featured together in the last edition of the World Championships in Vienna, where the team placed 17th.
“We are a young team together, we’ve played just over two years and we have been trying to build our spirit, step by step, especially in a game like today when we started very bad. We try to focus each other, to find a good way to be together both inside and outside the court,” said Fijalek.
The world top 23 on the FIVB World Tour as of May 6, 2019 automatically qualify for the World Championships, held every two years. The winners will claim a prize purse of $1million and earn their National Olympic Committee a place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games beach volleyball competition.