MUSANNAH: After two rounds of qualifications played on Wednesday, the main draw line-up for the Muscat one-star men’s event on the 2018 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour is now complete. Teams from Denmark, Iran, Italy and Switzerland won two matches each to stay in the competition.
All but one of the 12 qualifications matches on the sand courts of the Millennium Resort Musannah in Oman finished in straight sets. The only losing team that managed to win a set were England’s Harry Jones and Issa Batrane, defeated by Japan’s Keisuke Shimizu and Takashi Tsuchiya in the first round – 2-1 (17-21, 21-13, 15-10) – in a game that lasted one full hour.
In the decisive round, however, the Japanese pair lost to Switzerland’s Quentin Metral and Simon Hagenbuch by 2-0 (21-17, 21-18) and failed to advance. Earlier, the Swiss duo had managed a 2-0 (21-16, 21-18) win against Austria’s Felix Friedl and Maximilian Trummer.
Two other Swiss teams were successful in the first round, but they could not get past the second. Denmark’s Mads Rosager and Martin Trans Hansen delivered a 2-0 (22-20, 21-12) shutout of Canada’s Cameron Wheelan and Felipe Humana-Paredes before upsetting the top-seeded team in these qualifications, Switzerland’s Adrian Heidrich and Mirco Gerson, with a 2-0 (22-20, 21-16) defeat.
Iran’s Aghamohammad Salagh and Abolhamed Mirzaali disposed of Italy’s Emanuele Monduzzi and Antonio Basti with a 2-0 (21-11, 21-10) win in the first round, and knocked out Switzerland’s Gabriel Kissling and Michiel Zandbergen in a 2-0 (21-17, 21-18) straight-setter.
The other Italian team, second-seeded Tiziano Andreatta and Andrea Abbiati, made it to the main draw with a 2-0 (21-10, 21-9) victory over Oman’s Nasser al Jabri and Mohammed al Jabri, followed by a 2-0 win against Canada’s William Hoey and Liam Kopp.
Main draw action starts on Thursday with Rahman Raoufi and Bahman Salemiinjehboroun from Iran as the highest ranked duo in the line-up. Five pairs from host country Oman, three from Iran, two from Switzerland and one each from Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong and Italy make up the 16 teams that will battle it out for the $5,000 of prize money, starting off with modified pool play to be followed by single elimination.
Another Omani team in the qualifying round, Badar and Faisal lost to Heidrich/Gerson of Switzerland) 21-11, 21-12.
Host country favourites will be Haitham al Shuraiqi/Ahmed al Hosn and Nouh al Jalboobi/Mazin al Hashmi as the two teams finished second and fourth last November at the Arab Beach Volleyball World Championship hosted by Oman. Following this week’s stops in Oman and the Netherlands, the FIVB World Tour will resume on April 8-11 in Satun, Thailand, for a combined men’s and women’s event.
Qualification round 1
Hoey/Kopp (Canada) bt Pribanic/Jercic (Croatia) 21-17, 22-20
Andreatta/T Abbiati (Italy) bt Nasser/Mohammed (Oman) 21-10, 21-9
Metral/Hagenbuch (Switzerland) bt Friedl FE/Trummer (Austria) 21-16, 21-18
Shimizu/Tsuachiya (Japan) bt Jones/Batrane (England) 17-21, 21-13, 15-10
A Salagh/A Mirza Ali (Iran) bt Monduzzi/Basti (Italy) 21-11, 21-10
Kissling G/Zandbergen (Switzerland) bt Karpa/Sievers (Germany) 21-18, 21-18
Heidrich/Gerson (Switzerland) bt Badar/Faisal (Oman) 21-11, 21-12
Rosager/Trans (Denmark) Wheelan/Humana-Parades (Canada) 22-20, 21-12
Metral/Hagenbuch (Switzerland) bt Shimizu/Tsuachiya (Japan) 21-16, 21-16
Andreatta/T Abbiati (Italy) bt Hoey/Kopp (Canada) 21-13, 21-14
Rosager/Trans (Denmark)bt Heidrich/Gerson (Switzerland) 22-20, 21-16
A Salagh/A Mirza Ali (Iran) bt Kissling G/Zandbergen (Switzerland) 21-17, 21-18