2017-07-29 16:42:00 CEST
Andrea and Claudia take to the stage in the Red Bull Beach Arena
Playing at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships presented by A1 is an occasion that should be shared with family – but Colombia have taken that to a whole new level.
As well as representing their country for the first time in a World Championships, Andrea and Claudia Galindo delivered the pride of their family in Vienna – taking to the sand arm in arm as sisters on the Red Bull Beach Arena.
For more than a decade the two have stood side by side, but never have they competed in anything as big as this, watched by thousands on the big stage on Saturday.
That saw them face German pair Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude, giving more than their fair share of impressive beach volleyball against the second seeds.
But for the Galindo sisters, this game was worth far more than the 21-14, 21-14 scoreline – certainly giving the Germans a scare when leading late in the first set.
“To be in the World Championships, representing Colombia, we are very happy. It is beautiful, all of it – the stadium, the people, the city,” said Claudia.
“The game was very hard, we gave it 100 per cent all the time. The crowd was very big, it’s incredible because usually tournaments we play in are very small, so we’re very happy to be there in front of them.
“We started playing with each other 12 years ago, for our country it is very important for us to be here because this is the first time, it is the goal in anyone’s career to be able to get here.
“Our family is very happy, everyone is hugely into beach volleyball and we have a very good spirit, there are six brothers and sisters who all play sport, and we all have the support of each other.”
Living, training and playing beach volleyball together means an awful lot of time is spent between the Colombian pair, both on and off the court.
So, with barely a moment out of each other’s pockets, just how do they keep their home and sport lives separate on a day-to-day basis?
The two have plenty going on in their lives even without the sun and sand, the essential separation that they believe allows them to play at their best when it matters most.
Andrea added: “Sister and sister is very different but it’s a beautiful adventure for us to enjoy together. There’s no hiding from each other, we see each other seven days out of seven but we complement each other perfectly.
“She’s a biologist and has a Masters in conservation and I’m studying also.
“We do other things away from beach volleyball, separately too, and we play in a number of tournaments in central America so there is the balance.”
The Colombians continue their tournament against Elsa Baquerizo and Amaranta Navarro of Spain, at 1pm CET on Sunday. You can watch that game, and all the matches this tournament, live on BeachStream. Click here to sign-up!
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