Mexican surprise team reaches Doha final – US teams eliminated
Mexican youngsters Josue Gaxiola and Jose Rubio are on a run at the FIVB Doha 4-star and surprised the world elite by reaching Friday’s gold medal match. After defeating reigning world champions Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Viacheslav Krasilnikov of Russia in the quarterfinals, the young Mexican team took down Brazilian top team Evandro and Bruno Schmidt in the semifinals. Both Evandro and Bruno Schmidt who are also previous world champions with different partners had eliminated US oldies Phil Dalhausser and Lucena in the quarterfinals (21:10, 21:12).
Rubio and Gaxiola won silver at the U19 World Championships in 2016 and have never played a World Tour event outside of Mexico before. In the round of 16, they knoecked out Hamburg semifinalists Tri Bourne and Trevor Crabb from Hawaii. The youngsters are training together with compatriots Lombardo Ontiveros and Juan Virgen. Jose Rubio:
“Lombardo and Juan are really experienced on the Tour, they have spoken to us at length about what is needed to compete on the Tour.”
In the gold medal match, the Mexicans will face Gregorsz Fijalek and Michal Bryl. The Polish top team beat Ehlers/Flüggen of Germany in the quarterfinals and Nicolai/Lupo of Italy in the semis. The Italian veterans had defeated Chetumal gold medalists Jake Gibb and Taylor Crabb in the quarterfinals in straight sets. The medal matches are played on Friday and can be livestreamed at the FIVB Youtube channel.