OFFICIAL VOICE OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CUBA CENTRAL COMMITTEE
Leila Martínez (left) and Lidiannis Echevarría. Photo: Norceca Photo: Norceca

Cuba’s men’s and women’s teams saw a repeat of their success in La Paz, Baja California, at the beginning of the month, after winning gold in the Norceca Beach Volleyball Tour, held in the Caiman Islands.

Leila Martínez and Lidiannis Echevarría defeated Jace Pardon and Lara Dykstra (USA) 2-1 (21-13, 18-21, 15-9) in the final of the women’s division, while the island’s men’s squad, composed of Karell Peña and Daisel Quesada beat Canada’s Maverick Hatch and Garett May, 2-1 (18-21, 21-16, 15-6), with both securing 200 points toward their respective rankings.

Third place for the women went to Jamie Broder-Caleigh Whitaker from Canada, who defeated Betsi Flint-Kelley Larsen from the United States 2-1 (21-16, 22-24, 15-9), while Mark Burik-Wi¬lliam Kolinske (USA) beat Canadians Aaron Nusbaum-Ryan Vandenburg 2-1 (18-21, 21-11, 15-13) in the men’s division.

After losing the first set of their opening match to La Teisha Joseph-Apphia Glasgow, from Trinidad and Tobago, Echevarría-Martínez went on to defeat their opponents 21-9, 21-4, followed by hosts Melisa Borrowes-Ileann Powery, 21-7, 21-7.

The quarter finals saw the pair triumph 21-12, 21-7 over María I. Orellana-Blanca Recinos of Guatemala to advance to the final after beating Canadians Bro¬der-Whitaker 21-15, 18-21, 15-10.

A CLEAN SWEEP FOR CUBA

Karell Peña and Daisel Quesada won five games before finally securing the gold; defeating Marlon Phillip-Daneil Williams of Trinidad and Tobago 21-14, 21-14, followed by Hatch-May (21-16, 21-19), and Rubén Mora-Dany López of Nicaragua in two sets of 21-19. The pair then went on to defeat St. Clair Hodge-Kemoroy Percival, from Saint Kitts and Nevis 21-4, 21-10 in the quarter finals, followed by Burik-Kolinske (21-17, 21-16) in the semis.

Daisel Quesada (right), alongside teammate Karell Peña. Photo: Norceca

This is the ninth time the Caiman Islands has served as a stop on the Norceca Tour, with Kirenia Ballar-Nirian Sinal winning gold there for Cuba in 2009, and Karell Peña-Sergio González taking silver, while 2015 saw Nivaldo Díaz-Sergio González win the gold.

OLYMPIC MEDAL WINNERS DOMINATE IN CHINA

Holland’s Alexander Brouwer-Robert Meeuwsen, who won bronze in the 2016 Río de Janeiro Olympic Games, took the gold medal during the Chinese stop of the Beach Volleyball World Tour, held in the city of Xiamen, where they defeated Italians and Río 2016 silver medalists, Paolo Nicolai-Daniele Lu¬po 21-14, 21-17.

The bronze went to Maciej Rudol-Jakub Szalankiewcz of Poland, who triumphed 21-16, 21-17 against Armin Dollinger-Jonathan Erdman from Germany. Meanwhile, Nivaldo Díaz-Sergio González were defeated 2-1 by Alexander Brouwer-Robert Meeuwsen in the quarter finals.