Maksim Hudyakov celebrating during the final match in Alanya
Alanya, Turkey, June 3, 2018 – Maksim Hudyakov and Ruslan Bykanov won the men’s gold at the one-star Alanya event on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. It was the second medal in a row for the fifth-seeded Russians, after claiming bronze at their previous participation in the World Tour in Aydin, also in Turkey, but it was their first ever top-of-the-podium finish.
Top-seeded Turks Volkan Gogtepe and Murat Giginoglu settled for silver. It was the third medal on the World Tour for both players, but their first as a team.
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The bronze went to eighth-seeded Ukrainians Oleksii Denin and Denys Denysenko. While Denin already had one final four participation with a different partner last October in Aalsmeer, for both him or Denysenko this was the first ever medal on the Tour.
The men’s podium at Alanya
With their powerful attacks, Hudyakov and Bykanov won the first set in the final against Gogtepe and Giginoglu and seemed well on their way to closing it off in straight sets with a solid lead in the second. With the noisy support from the stands and some extremely solid defence, however, the Turks turned it around to prompt a tie-break. In the decisive set, however, the Russians dominated again, ran off with a lead before Hudyakov monster-blocked to fix the final 2-1 (21-13, 16-21, 15-11).
Volkan Gogtepe dives for the ball during the final match in Alanya
In an exciting match for third place, Denin and Denysenko lost the first set to Switzerland’s Florian Breer and Yves Haussener, but managed to come back and tie the score. The decider was extended into overtime, but the Ukrainians persevered for a 2-1 (18-21, 21-14, 17-15) win.
“We are happy with the result. It is not excellent, yet it is good for us. We loved the Turkish crowd, as they are so passionate and enthusiastic,” Denysenko said.
Oleksii Denin and Denys Denysenko (right) in action during the bronze medal match
Both semifinals finished in straight sets. Hudyakov and Bykanov beat Breer and Haussener 2-0 (21-15, 21-16), while Gogtepe and Giginoglu delighted the home fans with a 2-0 (21-15, 21-18) win in the match against Denin and Denysenko.