It’s fair to say all the players competing in the three FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour events at the Cancun Hub are just happy that they’ve been able to play the game they love again, but Adrian Carambula is probably on a different level when it comes to happiness.
The 33-year-old Italian has developed a reputation in international beach volleyball for his crafty and spectacular game and the conditions at the Playa Delfines have provided him with the perfect opportunity to execute his game plan and maximise his skills.
Due to the strong winds that consistently blow on the courts on the Mexican coast, his trademark skyball serves have been more lethal than ever before and his absurd ball control has proven to be a valuable skill.
The favourable conditions helped him and partner Enrico Rossi finish fifth in the first tournament and secure a spot in the bronze medal match of the second.
“From the minute we got here, we realised that if anyone was to benefit from these conditions it would be us,” the Italian said. “We’re taking advantage of it and just going with the flow. I grew up playing in Miami and every afternoon it would be windy there, so I had to learn how to manoeuvre the ball no matter what. That’s what we’re doing here, handling the ball well and having fun.”
A Rio 2016 Olympian, Carambula has had a strong career on the World Tour with four medals won, including two golds, since he first appeared on the international scene back in 2015.
His trajectory as a beach volleyball player has raised some questions since the beginning, though, as a 1.83m-tall, left-handed defender, he had people recognising how fun to watch his game was, but hardly considering it good enough for him to compete against the best in the world.
“At the start of my career, that was the motivation,” Carambula, the World Tour’s Most Entertaining Player in 2019, added. “I had this chip on my shoulder and kind of developed that attitude because that’s what I used to hear. Right now, I feel like I play for the shorter people who want to become beach volleyball players. I get a lot of messages from them and it feels great to know that I give them some hope with my play. That’s really cool.”
One of Carambula’s major accomplishments was, for sure, finishing ninth at the Rio 2016 Games with former partner Alex Ranghieri. He’s trying to do it again in Tokyo with Rossi and even though right now they are outside of the top 15 in the Olympic rankings, the good finishes in Mexico have helped bring them closer to their goal.
“We need all the points in the world to have a chance, so every match for us is do or die,” Carambula explained. “We’re trying to not look that much at points right now, our focus is on going as deep as we can in each tournament. We’ve had good results in both tournaments so far and it feels good. We had a rough couple of months before coming here as we didn’t get to practise as much as we wanted, but we have a strong team and a super force, who are the people behind us.”
The medal matches of the second tournament of the Cancun Hub will be streamed live on the Beach Volleyball World Youtube channel. Subscribe, log in and set reminders to receive notifications when streams begin.
Cancun Hub - 2nd event
Cancun Hub - 2nd event - Match schedule
Provisional Olympic ranking - Men
Provisional Olympic ranking - Women
FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour