Fort Lauderdale, USA, February 9, 2017 – Height and power have become high demand commodities for several sports and beach volleyball is no different. However, in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour there is always space for distinguished talent as Brazilian star Bruno Schmidt insistently shows.
The 30-year-old Brazilian, who is just 1.85m tall, has been one of the most successful players of the world in the recent years winning the gold medal at Rio 2016 Olympic Games and at the 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, besides of being elected the Most Outstanding Player of the World Tour in the last two seasons.Quick links - Beach volleyball:
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Bruno’s success heavily influenced the early career of other diminutive but talented Brazilian, 23-year-old Guto Carvalhaes. The 1.86m defender, who won the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Championships, is an ascending star in the international scene, winning the Cincinnati stop of the World Tour in 2016.
“On the beginning of my career a lot of people said I should quit playing because I was so short and I actually considered it at some point,” says Guto, who is the son of Brazilian coach Marcelo ‘Big’ Carvalhaes. “So, when I saw him saying that he went through the same situation on TV right after he won his gold medal in Rio I could see myself there. I really admire him and everything he does.”
Even after experiencing some amount of success in the World Tour, Guto, elected the Best Rookie of the Year in 2016, keeps the same feeling for the compatriot. The Rio de Janeiro native recalls he couldn’t stop crying after defeating Bruno for the first time in his career, in the bronze medal match of the 2015 Rio de Janeiro stop of the World Tour.
“I've improved over the last years and now am capable of playing the same tournaments he plays and even of defeating him a few times, but nothing has changed to me. He is still my idol. I read a phrase a while ago that I really can’t forget. It said that you should train hard enough to one day be your idol’s rival. That’s exactly what’s happening to me right now”.Brazilian Guto Cavalhaes sends the Mikasa over the net
And Guto seems to be following the same path Bruno did some years ago as the young Brazilian recently teamed Pedro Solberg, who was Bruno’s partner in 2013. The defender is pumped with the opportunity of playing alongside the 2008 FIVB World Tour champion.
“It has been a while since I last felt so happy about a partnership how I feel now. Of course I had good results with Saymon, but Pedro and I connected very well since the beginning and I feel extremely comfortable about our team. We both have good technique and are improving day after day,” he comments.
Guto and Pedro are making their international debut at the $600,000 Fort Lauderdale Major. The Brazilian duo won their first two matches in Florida, on Wednesday, defeating Switzerland’s Nico Beeler and Marco Krattiger 2-0 (21-19, 21-14) and Latvia’s Martins Plavins and Haralds Regza 2-0 (21-16, 21-13).