04.07.2019 - Hamburg
Clemens Wickler and Julius Thole were trailing 18-17 in the second set.
And then the magic began to work. Julius Thole leaped highest and produced a trademark block. 18-18. Crowd go crazy.
A point later the comeback was complete. An ace from Clemens Wickler and the noise inside the Red Bull Beach Arena was deafening. 19-18 to the Germans.
A Wickler attack gave them match point and then it happened. A scramble, Thole out of position – there was only one thing for Clemens to do. Against the powerhouse blocker Robert Meeuwsen, the defender rose majestically, got both hands on the ball. It fell to the sand, the right side of the sand, and the stadium erupted. 21-19. A win for the local heroes.
A straight sets victory for the youngsters ensured they will return to the Red Bull Beach Arena on Friday for another mouthwatering match-up against reigning Olympic champion Alison Cerutti and his teammate Alvaro Filho.
But everyone will be talking about that block. Just because you’re a defender doesn’t mean you don’t practice.
“Julius was coming out with the big blocks all game but I was training blocking all last week so to come out with the winning one is something I’m very proud of.”
It was Clemens’ only block of the match.
Julius did it 12 times – and that was a statistic that paved the way to victory.
“I can’t believe that Clemens got that last ball,” smiled the 22-year-old. “I was surprised so much about it at the time to be happy!”
Can the dream for Team Thole/Wickler go on? Find out on Friday.