Beach Volleyball: Cubans Noslen and Alayo Breathe At Ease

Beach Volleyball: Cubans Noslen and Alayo Breathe At Ease
Fecha de publicación: 
23 June 2024
Imagen principal: 

Now I can confess something: I did not like at all that Jorge Luis Alayo and Noslen Díaz were playing for qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in the North, Central America and Caribbean Circuit (Norceca) Beach Volleyball qualifier.

That event, scheduled for June 19 -24 in Tlaxcala, Mexico, gave only one ticket to the upcoming summer event, and therefore the young Cuban beach volleyball couple had no other choice, but to win the crown, when in similar contests throughout the season they have won and lost with these rivals.

That's why I, and especially them, breathe at ease.

That very good second place in his last official Pro Tour competition, the Challenge tournament held in the Polish city of Stare Jablonsky, left the bar high for those who aspired to that last place with access to Paris, and the arena showed it.

Both the Chilean cousins Marcos and Esteban Grimalt and the Austrians Julian Hörl and Alex Horst a week later were in the qualifying phase of the Elite 16 tournament in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

The Pan American runners-up at Santiago de Chile 2023 had 7,800 points and were in 17th place on the world ranking, but those two couples with 7,260 were very close.

Fortunately, the Dutch León Luini and Christian Varenhorts were our best allies and eliminated them one after the other, to end their options of displacing our guys. However, it was enough for the Austrians to take the last spot.

It was the best possible prize for Alayo and Noslen, who reached four podiums in the World Pro Tour this season, adding events from different categories but always against couples of the highest level.

We cannot forget that it was an extraordinary effort to climb from 30th to 17th place in the ranking in a few months, because their participation in international events was not stable throughout the four-year period, something that must improve in the future.

Francisco Álvarez Cutiño's students will emulate precisely their teacher, since he was the pioneer of Cuban beach volleyball in Olympic events, when together with Juan Rosell Milanés he occupied the seventh place in Atlanta 1996, the edition where this discipline debuted.

The best performance continues to be that of Rio de Janeiro 2016, when Sergio González and Nivaldo Díaz shared fifth place.

Now they can focus on polishing technical details without the pressure of having to win the Norceca qualifier, which, as I already told you, I was always very afraid of.

Add new comment

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.