2016-06-28 12:35:00 CET
Xandi Huber and Robin Seidl show nerves of steel and book their first ever ticket to the Olympic Games
The perfect moment to win
The Austrians won the second set 21:17 against Dries Koekelkoren and Tom van Walle and secured the second ticket to Rio for their country. “It´s amazing, unbelievable,” Robin repeated again and again. Four years ago, he and Xandi helped Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst to gain the spot at the FIVB World Cup Olympic Qualification Tournament in Moscow, after they had achieved the fourth place in the CEV Continental Cup. At that moment, the Austrian Volleyball Federation sent the more experienced Doppler/Horst to London.
This time Huber/Seidl will be part of the Olympics. “As we take the world ranking for our decision, and as Huber/Seidl won every game at the Continental Cup Final, it would be extremely stupid, not to send them to Rio,” said Austrian Volleyball Federation President Peter Kleinmann. The Federation decides on Tuesday, which team is going, “But it will be for 100 per cent Huber/Seidl,” Kleinmann told us on Monday.
It is like former coach Tristan Boyd from Australia always said: “What goes around comes around.” This time, Doppler/Horst have already qualified with their ranking points so Thomas Kunert/Christoph Dressler played along with Huber/Seidl in Stavanger. They beat Murat Giginoglu/Volkan Gögtepe from Turkey in the quarterfinal. In all other matches Huber/Seidl had to play twice, the first and the Golden Match – and succeeded. All the teams they lost against before, for example Olympic bronze medallist Martins Plavins and partner Haralds Regza from Latvia or Dmitri Barsouk and Nikita Liamin from Russia, they overcame in this tournament.
Shortly before a mental collapse
“The last 16 match against Plavins/Regza was the best match I ever attended in my whole career,” Xandi said. The Latvians already had two match point opportunities, but Huber/Seidl didn’t stop and fought to turn the game around. “I still cannot believe what has happened, it’s so emotional,” Robin said. “And I am totally relieved that it is over before I suffered a mental collapse,” he said. The same applied for family and friends, who watched at home the live-stream.
On Monday, Xandi and Robin celebrated with their families in Klagenfurt before they travel to Croatia on Wednesday to play Porec Major. “In Poreč, it’s all about enjoying the time, we are looking forward to this great event,” said Xandi.
And after the tournament, they will book their tickets to Rio.