St Vincent and the Grenadines secured a spot in the 2014 Youth Olympic Games when Rodell Fraser and Delshun Welcome won the male segment of the Eastern Caribbean Volleyball Association (ECVA) Zone of the NORCECA Round of the Youth Olympic Beach Qualification Tournament, which ended in St. Lucia on Sunday.
Fraser and Welcome won the gold medal and booked a berth for SVG to the 2014 Youth Olympic Games, when beach volleyball makes its debut.
There was more history making achievement, as it will be the first time SVG will be represented at the Olympic Games in a team sport.
The pair formalized their unbeaten run in the tournament, in near dominating fashion over Dominica’s Arden Elmes and Yahn Florent, taking both matches in the best of three final series.
The Vincentians won both matches 2-0. They had to ward off a defiant Elmes and Florent in the first match, but came through 21-16, 22-20. In the second match, Fraser and Welcome blew away their opponents 21-9, 21-5.
In addition, they finished the two-day tournament, dropping only one set and ended with a 10-1 win /loss ratio.
Before meeting Elmes and Florent, Fraser and Welcome saw off Grenada’s team of Sherman Clement and Jayvon Gilbert in two straight matches, to sweep the series without many complications.
The Vincentians won 2-0 (21-14, 21-15 ) and (21-14, 21-11).
And, it was an expected result according to Fraser and Welcome, who concurred that they were the best pair show.
“We knew we were the best from day one… We knew once we trained hard, it would have come easily for us… We trained very hard for this for the past two months, now we are overjoyed,” Fraser said with a broad grin.
Both acknowledged though, that they would have to work harder, to ensure that they are the two who head to China in August 2014.
Second place Dominica had a harder route to the final, taken to the golden set by the St. Lucian combination of Alexander Augier and Andre Marquis.
St Lucia won match one- 2-0 (21-11, 22-20), but Dominican sent the contest into a golden set, as they took match two 2-1 (21-23, 21-10, 15-11).
Elmes and Florent edged out Augier and Marquis in the golden set, 16-14 in thrilling fashion.
St Lucia came away with the third spot, taking the two matches at the expense of Grenada. St Lucia won 2-0 (21-12, 21-15) and 2-0 (23-21, 21-13).
But it is not all over for Dominica and St Lucia, as they have another chance at qualification in the second round which begins next year.
Full Day’s Results
FINAL Best of three: VIN d DMA 2-0 (21-16, 22-20) and 2-0 9 21-9, 21-5). Semi-finals – VIN d GRN 2-0 and 2-0 (21-14, 21-15) and (21-14, 21-11). LCA DMA 2-0 (21-11, 22-20) . DMA d LCA 2-1 (21-23, 21-10, 15-11). Golden Set: DMA d LCA 16-14. Third Place SLU d GRN 2-0 (21-12, 21-15) and 2-0 (23-21, 21-13)
(Source: NORCECA Volleyball Confederation)