Larnaka, Cyprus, July 28, 2016 – Daniel and Fabian Pfeifer started their campaign at the FIVB U19 World Championships in Larnaka with a 2-0 (21-13, 21-15) loss against Australia’s Paul Burnett and Marcus Ferguson. But the 17-year old Namibian twins left the court smiling anyway, happy being surrounded by beach volleyball.
“This was our first international match ever,” Fabian said. “We lost, but it was actually quite fun. It’s great to see the high level that’s being played all around us. We lost and it was quite hot playing, but it was still awesome.”
At only 1.78 metres, the twins are not the tallest players in Larnaka. Fabian: “Sometimes we have a slight disadvantage at the net. But we just have to defend well and work a bit harder. But the control is there.”
Both players prefer playing defence, so it’s no surprise their favourite players on the World Tour are defence players as well. Fabian likes to watch Bartosz Losiak from Poland and Daniel’s idol is Bruno Oscar Schmidt from Brazil.
So far the closest they have been to the FIVB World Tour is watching the matches on YouTube. And now they are part of the FIVB family themselves, they want to soak up as much beach volleyball as possible, win or lose, said Daniel.
“Because it’s our first time participating, we didn’t have a goal really. But winning a game would be cool and obviously moving to the next round. That’s our goal right now. But we’ll have to work hard for that.”
Depending on their experience in Larnaka the twins will decide about their beach volleyball future. “Beach volleyball in Namibia is not that big. We don’t have huge tournaments or good opponents,” said Fabian. “We just want to take all the experience we can get from here. See where we are at, and not give up, play hard.” His brother added: “This will be very motivating, no matter if we win or lose.”
And maybe their future will be outside their birth country. As many Namibian youngsters with German roots they will go to the old home country to study. Daniel: “We are about to start college in Germany soon. And I hope we can play there as well.”
• U19 World Championships Larnaka, Cyprus 2016 - website
• Qualification - Men
• Qualification - Women
• Main draw - Men
• Main draw - Women