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2016-07-31 12:30:00 CET

Birthday boy Janis’ block party

Latvians loving Klagenfurt…again!

Samoilovs/Smedins are in another final in Klagenfurt! Photocredit: Mike RanzSamoilovs/Smedins are in another final in Klagenfurt! Photocredit: Mike Ranz

Latvian legends Samoilovs/Smedins raced into a Klagenfurt final for the second year running as their quest for a first Swatch Major Series gold continued at the A1 Major Klagenfurt!

Last year the boys won the European Championships at the Wörthersee, and now they are guaranteed a medal at the most famous beach volleyball tournament in the world.

Birthday boy Smedins was the star of the show in the first set as he pulled off three stunning blocks on the spin to give Latvia a 1-0 set lead. It was a high-class semifinal but the teamwork of Samoilovs/Smedins was shining through as the Canadians tried their hardest to reel back the Latvian’s lead.

It was nip and tuck midway through the opening set but Smedins, like Saymon in the first semifinal, was doing some serious damage at the net. Once Saxton/Schalk opened the door the tiniest bit the Latvians capitalized and Smedins blew the door wide open with some stunning skill at the net and those three pieces of brilliant blocking action gave the Gstaad Major bronze medalists the advantage.

Smedins was at it again early in the second set, with an early block bringing up his sixth of the match but the Canadians refused to buckle as both teams traded some super sideouts. The incredible exchange continued right up until 16-15 when the Latvians opened up a two-point lead thanks to a Smedins cut and a super Samoilovs attack across court.

And it was exactly the same as in the first set as the Latvians took advantage of the tiniest opening and punished Saxton/Schalk. A crazy rally went the way of Samoilovs/Smedins at 19-17 and another classy block from Smedins produced match-point and, although the Canadians saved the first point, birthday boy Smedins had the last word when hitting the winning point to set-up a mouthwatering final against Brazilian wonderkids Guto/Saymon!

See you in the final at 2.50pm – and don’t forget you can watch that live on our website. Check it out – you will NOT want to miss this!

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