2018-02-28 23:21:00 CET
Six years after his Olympic medal, the veteran Latvian is enjoying a great start with Edgars Tocs
Martins Plavins’ career has been a rollercoaster since he won the bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics. After the Games, he split with Janis Smedins and his chase for a new partner has had ups and downs as he experienced relative success with four different teammates.
Things started to change in 2018, when the 32-year-old Plavins picked up Edgars Tocs, a 29-year-old blocker who had only one top-ten finish in the World Tour. But things clicked immediately for the Latvians.
With only a pair of months together, Plavins and Tocs reached the podium of the three tournaments they’ve played, winning gold the World Tour four-star event in The Hague, silver the in the three-star tournament in Kish Island and bronze in the European Masters in Pelhrimov.
“I still can’t believe that this is happening,” Plavins said. “Edgards had mostly played in the qualifiers before, so we still have a lot to improve. I know him for a long time, but he agreed that if we had played together right after London, he wouldn’t be ready. And now he is.
“It’s the perfect timing for me as I can remain competitive and it’s a great situation for him too. The medals we’ve won are great, but are not the most important thing for me. The big thing for me is that I see we can get to Tokyo together.”
The duo has won 18 of their first 21 matches and the latest won happened in the first round of the 2018 Fort Lauderdale Major, when the Latvians dominated Dutch pair Christiaan Varenhorst and Jasper Bouter to post a 2-0 (21-19, 21-18) win and take the lead on Pool H.
“The wind is crazy and we are not used to it,” Plavins added. “I’m really glad we played well and didn’t make many mistakes, especially because we had only one training session here after we arrived from Kish Island and it was terrible. The Dutch team is very dangerous and Varenhorst has put us in trouble with his serves on the second set, but we somehow we managed to win.”
Plavins and Tocs will try to keep their momentum on Thursday, when they face Brazilian qualifiers Pedro Solberg and George Wanderley as both teams will be fighting for the first place of the pool.
This and all other matches of the 2018 Fort Lauderdale Major are available live on BeachStream. Register here and watch the best in the world competing in Florida.
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