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SPORT PREVIEW: Beach Volleyball Returning Champions And Up-And-Comers Will Spar For Gold

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Lima, Tuesday July 23, 2019 - Argentine Beach Volleyball team player trains at Costa Verde San Miguel at Pan American Games Lima 2019. Photo Credit: Vidal Tarqui / Lima 2019

LIMA, 23 July – Six medalists from Toronto 2015 are back to battle for gold in the Lima 2019 Pan American Games men’s and women’s beach volleyball competitions.

Men’s defending champions Rodolfo ONTIVEROS/Juan VIRGEN (MEX) return for their third Pan American Games, but they will not be taking their opposition lightly.

“Years have passed since Toronto,” ONTIVEROS said. “Now we are in Lima, and it’s a very different tournament.”

Looking to dethrone the Central Americans are Chilean cousins Esteban GRIMALT/Marco GRIMALT, who hold the tournament’s highest Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) ranking at No.13.

Other contenders include Oscar BRANDAO/Thiago DEALTRY BARBOSA, who will aim to continue Brazil’s streak of a beach volleyball medal at every Pan American Games.

Nivaldo DIAZ/Sergio GONZALEZ (CUB) were set to try to better their third-place finish from Toronto 2015 until DIAZ left the team in December. Newcomer Luis ENRIQUE REYES (CUB) replaces him.

The women’s competition also features a Toronto 2015 champion, as Ana GALLAY (ARG) returns with Pan Am Games debutant Fernanda PEREYRA (ARG).

But they will face stiff competition from veterans and newcomers.

Karissa COOK/Jace PARDON (USA) won a domestic tour title in May in just their second tournament together, and that victory has given them a huge boost.

“I’m still riding that high,” PARDON said. “Knowing we can play well and consistently through a tournament is confidence building.”

As with her male compatriots, Carolina HORTA hopes to extend Brazil’s run of Pan Am medals. The Toronto 2015 bronze medalist will play with Angela LAVALLE at Lima 2019.

The Estadio de Voleibol in Costa Verde San Miguel will host seven days of action from 24-30 July, starting on Wednesday at 09:00.

Source: NSLima2019 amm/ic/mb

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