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2016-07-03 20:32:00 CET

Doppler/Horst back on track

Crowd favorites take heart from Poreč performance

Austrians Doppler/Horst are back! Photocredit: Pedrag Vuckovic.Austrians Doppler/Horst are back! Photocredit: Pedrag Vuckovic.

Okay, so they did not win gold, but there were still big smiles on the faces of Clemens Doppler and Alex Horst as silver medals hung proudly around their necks on the final day of an enthralling Poreč Major.

The Austrians were backed by thousands of fans on a jam-packed Center Court – with hundreds more locked outside watching the final on the big screen unable to get a seat – but lost to world champions Alison/Bruno in three sets.

But despite not winning gold, both players were happy with their first medal in four years – even if there was a tinge of disappointment.

“It feels good – but we could have won it and that’s frustrating,” Clemens told us on Center Court. “It was a tight game, we had a big chance at 12-12 and missed out. Against this team you need to make those points count.”

Alex was a little bit more upbeat – even though he admitted he should have won that important point in the deciding set that handed the brilliant Brazilians the initiative.

“Of course it’s better than nothing!” he said. “If you had told me at the start of the week I would have a silver medal I would have taken it!

“Against the best team in the world we did well to come back. We had a chance at 12-12 and if I had made this point then maybe we could have won but that’s beach volleyball. We’re still satisfied with silver.”

Having reached their first final on the FIVB World Tour in four years, it begged the question – what was the reason behind their success this week?

“We sat down in Vienna and discussed what we thought we needed to change,” explained Clemens. “In games we felt that one player was always doing everything for the other. This time, and with the third man of the crowd, it gave us extra motivation.

“We showed what we can do against the world’s best team and that makes me proud.”

Alex added: “We knew we weren’t playing badly – we were just making mistakes and losing important points and sets at important times.

“Now we’ve managed to change that – and now we’re back on track.”

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