VIÑA DEL MAR – The Chilean beach volleyball duo close to qualifying for the next Olympics in London. Yesterday, Sunday February 13th, in Viña del Mar at the Circuito Sudamericano Marco and Esteban Grimalt unfortunately didn’t make the finals. The team from Brazil defeated them in the semi-finals. However the Chilean cousins won against Uruguay and took the third place in this competition. In this way they are further in running of the South American ranking. This third place makes it possible for them to stay on the second place in the South American ranking with 480 points. Chile held the top position in 2011 and will hope to reach that goal once again, as it will mean qualification for the 2012 Olympics in London.
The Grimalts are two cousins from a family of prestigious volleyball players. The cousins are a good team that is operating well together. They get along swimmingly and that also is quite obvious on the field. Together they won the southamerican championship in beach volleyball. Now they exersise a lot an hard for the qualification of the Olympics in London this year. In the first place to qualify and to demonstrate their ability and secondly to make beach volleyball more famous in Chile.
Step by step Marco and Esteban are going to get closer to their aims, but there is still a lot of work to be done. Working every day, practise every day. They want to go to London and they want to play. To play for Chile.
A problem is that there is almost no real demand for this form of sport. Soccer is the form of sport which is most popular. There’s no doubt about that! It might be quite difficult to change this way of thinking. But it is getting more and more attention. The qualification for the Olympics could be a first step in the right direction. It is important for this form of sport that people talk about it, that people pay attention on it.
In the women’s event, Chilean pair María Elena Salas y Fernanda Valenzuela were the surprise of the tournament. Going into the event as Chile’s 3rd ranked team, they beat Uruguay in the quarter finals, the upset of the event. In the end, the pair finished in 4th position.
Beach Volleyball has a lot of benefits. It is quick, it is clear, it is exciting. There are, different to Volleyball, only two players and they act like a real team. We here at I Love Chile will wish the Grimalts only the best for the next matches and hope that they will qualify to the Olympics.