Cubans Alayo and Diaz win gold in Santa Marta in thrilling three sets

SANTA MARTA, Colombia, November 26, 2022.- Cubans Luis Alayo and Noslen Diaz needed three sets to beat the home team of Juan Noriega and Yefferson De La Hoz 2-1 (21-17, 20-22, 15-10) for the gold of the first Central American and Caribbean Sea and Beach Games in Santa Marta.

The crowd filled up the stands of the Multisports Park “500 años” to support the Colombian team who were able to stop Cuba’s offensive thanks to Yefferson De La Hoz serves and Juan Noriega’s defense.

Diaz kept his serenity and Alayo with his explosive game shut the crowd that enjoyed a challenging match.

Luis Alayo spoke after the game “it was a nice final, as expected. The first set was productive for Cuba and the second set was tense, I lost focus in the technical part and Colombia took advantage. We went out looking to win the third set for the gold medal for Cuba”.

Luis Alayo Cuba in semifinals vs El Salvador

Noslen Diaz expressed “it was a demanding match, we expected it from Colombia as host of the event, they had great strength. We were able to adjust all the steps we needed to come out with the victory”.

Alayo and Diaz progressed to the gold medal match winning their semifinal without difficulties over siblings Yoel and Cristopher Guardado of El Salvador 2-0 (21-11, 21-9), while Colombians De La Hoz and Noriega dominated Mexicans Alexis Galicia and Oziel Aguirre 2-0 (21-16, 21-19).

The match for the bronze medal was very close, won by Mexico with Galicia and Aguirre 2-0 (25-23, 21-19) against the Guardado team of El Salvador.

Men’s Results Saturday

SEMIFINALS CUB d ESA 2-0 (21-11, 21-9); COL d MEX 2-0 (21-16, 21-19)

BRONZE MEDAL MEX d ESA 2-0 (25-23, 21-19); GOLD MEDAL CUB d COL 2-1 (21-17, 20-22, 15-10)