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2017-08-03 21:29:00 CET

Belgians pull of World Champs shock

Tom van Walle and Dries Koekelkoren stun injured Dutch

Tom van Walle and Dries Koekelkoren of Belgium are in the last-16 of their first ever world championshipsTom van Walle and Dries Koekelkoren of Belgium are in the last-16 of their first ever world championships

Injury struck Olympic bronze medalists Robert Meeuwsen and Alexander Brouwer as the Dutch were dumped out of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships presented by A1 by Belgium’s Tom van Walle and Dries Koekelkoren.

In arguably one of the biggest upsets in the men’s tournament in Vienna, the Belgian pair took full advantage of a third-set injury to Brouwer to book a last-16 clash against Polish pair Piotr Kantor and Bartosz Losiak on Friday.

And despite the circumstances surrounding their triumph, van Walle and Koekelkoren reveled in their success.

“The biggest win at the biggest tournament of the year,” said van Walle. “We have beaten top 10 teams before but now it’s in the World Championships.

“Those guys are here to win it, to get the medals and they are really focused. We hung in there. In the beginning we struggled because they play a different kind of beach volleyball because they are so high, so strong and we have to get used to that level.

“Winning the second set gave us a confidence boost and we started of the third set really strong with a lot of good serves and some block defense that gave us an advantage.”

Meeuwsen, meanwhile, had no complaints with the result that left the 2013 championships facing up to a tournament exit.

“We didn’t start as relaxed as possible,” he said. “In the second set, bad passing and some chances that we didn’t finish and we were trying to push ourselves to get some points.

“We got some chances and we were not as clean as we should be with those chances. Tom was serving pretty well and we called timeout to interrupt his serve because when he gets his rhythm, he gets better and better. He kept doing that efficiently and we didn’t handle it well enough.

“We had all these complaints in the past weeks with Alex and his injury, now everything was going well again so no excuses on that part. We were playing well in this tournament, this is where you want to perform and to lose like this is terrible.”

You can watch this game back on our video on demand section of BeachStream and catch all of the last-16 action live on Friday. Click here to sign-up absolutely free!

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