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2018-03-01 00:17:00 CEST

Nick & Phil ready for FTL

American top seeds going for gold on home sand

Can the USA's top team triumph on home sand?Can the USA's top team triumph on home sand?

American beach heroes Nick Lucena and Phil Dalhausser are hoping to start the 2018 season how they ended the last.

The two 38-year-old’s took the World Tour Finals title home from Hamburg last August, having also won a gold at the Beach Volleyball Major Series stop in Gstaad Major in July.

The pair open their season with a game under the Red Bull Beach Arena lights at 8pm EST against Norway's Hendrik Mol and Mathias Berntsen.

And Florida’s very own team – Lucena hails from Fort Lauderdale while Dalhausser has moved to Orlando – are now eyeing another gold to add to the bronze they won at Fort Lauderdale Major 12 months ago.

“I’m just anxious to start – it’s been a long time since we last played in a tournament,” Lucena told “That was a good one [in Hamburg] but it’s been equally nice being at home with the family and children for a while.

“We’re pumped to get back on the sand and to be involved in a Beach Major Series event – without Hannes and his team I don’t think there would be an international tour if I’m honest with you.

“The competition itself will be tough for sure – a lot of teams are getting better – but we’ll be ready.”

Meanwhile Phil, who moved from California to Florida in late December, revealed he has a new way of finding an extra edge and keeping fit in the off-season.

“I read about a Dutch guy called Wim Hof, who is known as the Iceman,” explained Dalhuasser. “He sets records like hiking up Everest in shorts, setting world records for spending time in the water in the arctic.

“He is able to control his breathing through a number of ways, including mediation, and he can basically control is immune system when it comes to pain.

“I read about him and he happened to be at a seminar in LA, I went to that and I bought into the theory.

“I’ve been taking cold showers – I have a daily routine of about 20 minutes that also includes breathing exercises and meditation. I find the meditation help me more focused on court.

“Why do I do it? Well, I might be the best blocker in the world but there’s always room for improvement. Even the slightest improvement in percentages and translate to a point here and there throughout the course of the season.”

The duo won bronze on Fort Lauderdale sand last season – and this time they’re going for gold.

“It takes a lot for me to smile,” said Nick, who put on a grumpy face on the podium 12 months ago. “We’ll be aiming for the podium and hopefully we can give the home fans something to shout about.”

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Nick (right) gives us the glum face after receiving the third place trophy last seasonNick (right) gives us the glum face after receiving the third place trophy last season

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