JUST WOW! What an absolutely amazing event at Barry Island we had this past weekend! Cardiff really showed up and showed out with amazing performances in both the men's and women’s competitions all weekend long and an amazing show of support from the local crowds in Cardiff!
In the women’s competition it was a true battle between 2 powerhouse teams in the UK, with the number 1 seeded team of Jess Grimson & Daisy Mumby battling against the power play, top performing Russian duo from Team Fireball, Julia Tokarenko & Maria Sviridova. It was a well fought match between both teams and coming into the tournament both teams had already won a Grand Slam event each earlier this year with Team DJ winning Weymouth and Team Fireball taking the Edinburgh title. It was fiercely contested throughout but in the end Jess & Daisy managed to take the game 2-0 21-18, 21-17 to claim their 2nd Grand Slam title of the season! It was also another bronze medal for the Team SideOut pairing of Aga Adamek & Giulia Rastelli. Despite the effort and drive from 1st time pairing of the young Isabelle Tucker and Gerda Berstautaite it wasn’t enough to slow down Team SideOut as they took the game 2-0 21-11, 21-19.
Next up was the men and coming off their first Grand Slam victory in Edinburgh, the London based men's pairing of Aldo Rendon Peiro & Andrea Maggio were looking to make it back to back victories as they took on 1st time finalists Harry Jones & Niko Gleed, the pair from Bournemouth. This final had it all! Hard hitting, tough serving and spectacular rallies from both teams. Both sets played out similar with the teams being neck and neck into the technical timeout and then a run of a few points swinging the way of Harry & Niko which in the end helped them secure their first ever Grand Slam title in the teams first attempt! They won overall 2-0 21-15, 21-16 and booked their tickets to the Grand Slam Finals in Bournemouth this September. The bronze medal game was similar to that in Edinburgh with UKBT legends of Mark Garcia-Kidd & JJ Van Den Bogert taking on another Scottish team in a bronze medal Grand Slam match up but this time the pairing of Euan Fraser & Jamie McHardy. Were we in for a show ladies and gents! This game had it all! Runs of points going to both teams in the first 2 sets meant we needed a 3rd set to decide the bronze medal, and even in the deciding set it was a nail bitter with multiple lead changes throughout! Unfortunately Mark & JJ were not able to replicate their bronze medal result from the previous Grand Slam in Edinburgh with the Scottish pairing of Euan & Jamie clinching the game and the bronze medal 2-1. 15-21, 21-17, 19-17!
The event overall was great and to be on the sands of Barry Island was amazing for Cardiff and for the tour! After the play this weekend all we can say is the future definitely seems bright from beach volleyball across all of the home nations! A massive thank you also needs to go out to all of the volunteers, officials and players for their tireless effort throughout the weekend as well as our event sponsors and organisers for without all of you this would not be possible.
Men's Full Results - Click HERE
Women’s Full Results - Click HERE
Next up it's the London Grand Slam on August 28th - 29th held at Leyton Beach SideOut UK.
See you there!