By Mark Etheridge
Our beach volleyballers took on tournament favourites the United States, at the Olympic Games on Saturday night.
Yes, the Cape Town combination of Freedom Chiya and Grant Goldschmidt were downed 21-10 21-11, but they are by no means out as they celebrated their Olympic Games debut.
They went down to the aces in two straight sets to Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal but the South Africans are not down in the dumps.
“These guys are the tournament favourites and have won two out of the last three of the World Series events,” said Goldschmidt afterwards.
“Sure, it’s a tough international debut but we’ll up our game for the next round. We had a good few plays in the game.”
The match was played out at the Horse Guard’s Parade in Central London and the weather, suddenly cooler after a few scorching days, played it’s part.
“It was a bit cold and the sand was funny so you had to be careful of your footing,” said Chiya.
Goldschmidt said they would get better: “Consistency was the key. We played well but they played better over the whole match. We’ll gel over the next few days and work on a few points.
“The crowd support was great with lots of South Africans in the crowd and hopefully we’ll get a lot more in for our next games.”
Lying in wait for the South Africans over the next few days are Latvia and Poland but after having at least contested the Games favourites they’ll know what they are up against.