Gstaad, Switzerland, July 6, 2016 - Nivaldo Diaz/Sergio Gonzalez of Cuba and Lombardo Ontiveros/Juan Virgen of Mexico, a pair of Rio 2016 Olympic participants, defeated teams from beach volleyball power Brazil here Thursday in the men’s FIVB World Tour competition at the $600,000 Gstaad Major.
Seeded 25th and playing in Pool H, Nivaldo and Gonzalez defeated ninth-seeded and reigning Olympic champions Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt of Brazil 2-0 (21-13, 21-19) in a 32-minute match. With a win Wednesday over a team from Switzerland, the Cubans can win their group with a victory Friday over 24th-seeded Grant O'Gorman/Michael Plantinga of Canada.
After losing Wednesday to 15th-seeded Sam Pedlow/Sam Schachter of Canada, the 18th-seeded Ontiveros and Virgen scored a 2-0 (21-16, 21-19) Pool B win Thursday in 34 minutes over second-seeded Gustavo "Guto" Carvalhaes/Pedro Solberg of Brazil. Guto and Solberg had won 12-straight FIVB World Tour matches the past 10 days.
Pedlow and Schachter lead Pool B with a 2-0 record after winning Thursday over 31st-seeded Mirco Gerson/Michiel Zandbergen of Switzerland 2-0 (21-17, 21-14) in 33 minutes. The Canadians, who defeated Ontiveros/Virgen Wednesday 2-1 (21-18, 17-21, 15-13) in 41 minutes, play Guto and Solberg Friday.
The men’s Gstaad Major schedule concludes with pool play Friday, three rounds of elimination Saturday and the semi-finals and medal matches Sunday. The winning team shares the $40,000 first-place prize.