Top of the Pool: Bello brothers in Buenos Aires
12th October 2018
Javier and Joaquin Bello have had a perfect finish to the pool stage at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina, after emphatically defeating Togo to make it three wins from three.
By finishing top of the pool, the brothers will bypass the round of 24 and will progress straight to the round of 16 on Sunday 14th October, where their next match start time will be announced shortly. With their to-be-decided opponents battling it out in an extra round on Saturday, the Great Britain pair will be hoping their pre-Games confidence and additional rest day will put them in good stead for reaching the quarter finals next week.
Supported by team manager Barbara Bello and coach Luis Bello – in bigger roles mum and dad! – qualifying for the knockout phase of the tournament continues the whirlwind time Javier and Joaquin are having in October, with both starting their first years at university just days before flying off to Argentina.
And in Buenos Aires, the boy’s timetables have been no less filled, where, even on non-match days, schedules are taken up with gym sessions, on court training, travel to and from venues, discussions on game plans and media commitments, including with major broadcasters such as the BBC.
The Bello’s popularity is also soaring thanks to their ability to speak Spanish, with the local press and event volunteers excited to get to know the British pair, who qualified for the Games at the CEV Youth Beach Volleyball Continental Cup Finals in June.
Route to the Round of 16
Before stepping on to the sand at the Green Park beach volleyball venue in the northern area of Buenos Aires, Javier and Joaquin drew the attention of numerous organisations including making it on to the BBC’s Team GB ones to watch list, Olympic.org and Team England’s release. All following their impressive collection of results including winning the NEVZA U17 Beach Volleyball Championships in 2016, their history making gold medal at the Youth Commonwealth Games in 2017 and phenominal fifth place finish at the U19 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in 2018.
Backing up all the noise, the 18-year-old twins took their first game against Cuba 2-1 (19-21, 21-12, 15-8) on Monday. After battling back after losing the first set to the highly physical Cuban’s, who finished 1st in the NORCECA Central Zone Qualifiers to reach the Games, Javier and Joaquin became more assured in their performances and closed the next two sets nine and seven points clear of their opposition.
Wednesday saw the Bello’s dispatch Paraguay 2-0 (21-17, 21-13) in just 33 minutes of playing time – building confidence and all but assuring their route straight to the round of 16, with only winless Togo left to face.
And against Togo, the final challenger of the pool, an assured display from the GB pair saw them maintain their 100% Youth Olympic Games win record and extend their unbeaten run to three matches. The final result of a 2-0 (21-7, 21-10) victory in just 22 minutes of playing time stands testament to the ability of the Bello’s and puts them in a good position for Sunday’s round of 16 game.
You can follow the Bello’s schedule and progress on the Buenos Aires 2018 website, follow the pair on Facebook and twitter and on Volleyball England’s own Facebook and twitter. Official photos from the game vs Paraguay can be viewed on the FIVB’s site.