Nanjing, China, July 12, 2017 – Canada’s Megan McNamara and Nicole McNamara on track in Nanjing posting two wins on their opening day of pool play at the 2017 FIVB U21 Beach Volleyball World Championships.Quick links - Beach volleyball:Nanjing U21 - WebsiteNanjing U21 - Women's TeamsNanjing U21 - Men's TeamsFIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour 20172017 FIVB World Championships - Beach Volleyball2017 FIVB World Championships - Beach Volleyball qualificationRio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games - Beach VolleyballFIVB.com - Beach VolleyballLatest VideosFacebookTwitterInstagramMedia Guides
The McNamara twins are back in Nanjing after achieving previous success in the city winning silver at the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games. They are aiming for a second U21 World Championship podium to join their bronze medal which they won last year in Lucerne.
“We want to get on the podium again, we got bronze last year,” said Nicole.
“We love Nanjing, we were here three year ago for the Youth Olympics, everyone is so kind,” said Megan.
In their first pool D match the Canadian pair faced tough qualifiers Adriana-Maria Matei and Beata Vaida from Romania. M.McNamara/N.McNamara defeated the Romanians in a 39 minute tie-breaker, 2-1 (19-21, 21-15, 15-9).
“We had a tough three setter this morning against a good Romanian team so we knew that we had to play well. Everyone here is good so you have to play well to win matches,” said Megan.Canada's Megan McNamara (left) at the net with Adriana-Maria Matei from Romania
The Canadian pair then met Martina Maixnerova and Marie-Sara Stochlava from Czech Republic as the fiercely hot conditions began to marginally cool on centre court. Maixnerova/Stochlava also have previous age-group experience, finishing fifth at the U19 World Championships in Larnaka last year.
In another collected performance the Canadian sisters closed the match in 29 minutes, 2-0 (21-7, 21-15) and finish the day top of pool D.
“It was a great first day, we’re really happy with how we played and we’re excited to play more pool tomorrow,” said Megan.
“It’s really hot, everyone’s a little tired but they’re both big swingers, really good players so we just focused on our own side and trying to be as efficient as possible and managing our energy and I think it paid off in the end,” said Nicole.
China’s Wang Jiaxi and Wang Jing top their pool after posting two wins in group A. They first met Natalie Honzovicova and Tereza Pluharova from Czech Republic who played together in the U19 World Championships in 2014 and then the U21 World Championships in 2016 with their best result ninth in 2014. China's Jing Wang (left) and Jiaxi Wang
In the opening match of the day, the morning heat was just developing and the Chinese team dug deep to secure the win, 2-1 (21-15, 15-21, 15-13).
“Considering the match in the morning, my partner and I felt strained at the beginning of the day and even a little scared in the second set. But actually I think our two teams are on the same level. My partner and I just put in our best and won,” said Wang J.
J. X. Wang/Wang J. have international experience competing in two FIVB World Tour events this year in Jiangning, Nanjing and Nantong, but in a challenging group in Nanjing, the Chinese team then met 2017 U21 Asian Championship winners Thailand’s Pawarun Chanthawichai and Thatsarida Singchuea.
In a solid performance from the Chinese pair on centre, J. X. Wang/Wang J. won 2-0 (21-16, 21-19) and top pool A with one pool match to go.
“We feel excited of course, because we’ve encountered ups and downs during the match, but my partner and I helped and encouraged each other all the way through,” said Wang J.
“I think we managed all the obstacles together. I still feel nervous when I think about the crucial rallies in the match. But anyway we kept going and eventually won,” said J. X. Wang.
“We didn’t expected to be top of our pool, but I am happy with it,” said Wang J.
“We’re really grateful to have the chance to be involved in this tournament, as the hosts, I am thrilled with this experience,” said J. X. Wang.Brazil's Eduarda Santos Lisboa (right) and Ana Patricia Silva Ramos
Defending champions Brazil’s Eduarda Santos Lisboa and Ana Patricia Silva Ramos also won both their pool matches in Nanjing to sit at the top of pool B defeating Turkey’s strong qualifiers Merve Nezir and Aleyna Vence, 2-0 (21-11, 21-15) and then newcomers on the world stage, Costa Rican sisters Lucia Matarrita Soto and Valeria Maria Matarrita Soto, 2-0 (21-4, 21-8).
Each women’s team will play their final pool match on 13 July with the top three teams in each group progressing to the single elimination phase.