The three FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour 4-star events in the Cancun Hub have offered a lot of teams from around the world the opportunity to return to international level competition after several months of wait.
Argentineans Ana Gallay and Fernanda Pereyra are among those athletes who are benefiting the most from their time in Mexico. For them, the possibility to compete in three main draws in Cancun has proved extremely valuable as since November 2019 they had only appeared in tournaments of their national tour and the South American Circuit.
“For us, it’s been great to be able to come here and compete, that’s what we love to do as athletes,” said Gallay, a two-time Olympian. “Until a week before the first event we weren’t sure we’d be able to come. Fernanda and I are both coming from shoulder surgeries and at this level, it’s really difficult to play if you’re not at your absolute best and cannot hit the ball hard, but we’re slowly improving.”
The 35-year-old Gallay and the 29-year-old Pereyra have struggled with their physical limitations and managed to win only one of their first six matches on Mexican sand, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t taken full advantage of every opportunity they had while in Cancun.
The Argentineans tried to maximise their time between tournaments with training sessions against some of the other duos competing in the events, trying to duplicate that high level of competition.
“I’d say this was probably the best part of coming here,” Gallay added. “In the first two tournaments we lost our first two matches and didn’t last long in the events, but we took that time to practise against other teams. To play against opponents with different playing styles has been great for us, we really took advantage of that opportunity.”
Gallay and Pereyra are currently trying to qualify Argentina for the Olympics for the third time in a row after the defender represented the country at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Games with Virginia Zonta and Georgina Klug respectively.
The team’s only chance of making it is through June’s Continental Cup, where Argentina will play Colombia, Paraguay and Venezuela in San Juan from June 26-27. To get the best possible preparation, Gallay and Pereyra plan on playing in the next World Tour events in Russia and the Czech Republic.
“The goal is to go to both Sochi and Ostrava, but with everything that’s going on it’s really difficult to say for sure,” Gallay reflected. “If all goes well, we’ll take both teams that will play at the Continental Cup at these events so we can prepare in the best possible way. Our goal is to qualify and have Argentina at the Olympics once again.”
Gallay and Pereyra are currently competing at the third World Tour event in the Cancun Hub and all matches are streamed live on the Beach Volleyball World Youtube channel. Subscribe, log in and set reminders to receive notifications when streams begin.
Cancun Hub - 3rd event
Cancun Hub - 3rd event - Match schedule
Provisional Olympic ranking - Men
Provisional Olympic ranking - Women
FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour