Hudyakov and Bykanov on top of men’s podium at Agadir
Happy Hudyakov and Bykanov pose after winning the final
Agadir, Morocco, July 29, 2018 – 11th-seeded Maksim Hudyakov and Ruslan Bykanov won the gold medals at the Agadir two-star stop on the 2018 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. After their bronze at Aydin and gold at Alanya, it was the third World Tour medal for the Russian team.
Austria’s Alexander Huber and Christoph Dressler, seeded seventh, settled for silver. While Huber already had one silver and one bronze with different partners, for Dressler it was the first podium finish in his World Tour career.
The bronze medals went to top-seeded Nicolas Capogrosso and Julian Amado Azaad. For the Argentine pair it was the first ever medal on the Tour.
The men’s podium at Agadir
Hudyakov and Bykanov stormed into the gold medal match with a 5-0 run and comfortably cruised to a six-point-margin close of the first set. The second set was quite close through 12-11 in favour of Huber and Dressler, after which the Austrians broke away with four points in a row and kept the pace until Dressler’s tip closed the set off to draw level. In the tie-breaker, the Russians ran off with a solid 9-4 lead, but could not hold on to it, as Huber and Dressler caught up at 13-13 to prompt an exciting epilogue. The Austrians denied two match points for the Russians before Maxim Hudyakov pushed the overpass down to the sand to shape up the 2-1 (21-15, 16-21, 17-15) victory.
Scoring five in a row, Capogrosso and Azaad broke away with an 11-6 lead and never looked back until they won the first set of their bronze medal match against second-seeded Arnas Rumsevicius and Lukas Kazdailis. In the second set the Lithuanians fought back and kept it close and competitive through 19-19. Two successful spikes by Nicolas Capogrosso, however, pushed the Argentineans ahead to the 2-0 (21-17, 21-19) win.
Earlier on Sunday afternoon, Hudyakov and Bykanov won their semifinal with an emphatic 2-0 (21-16, 21-17) victory over Rumsevicius and Kazdailis to advance to the final.
The first semifinal was more competitive and lasted 53 minutes over three sets. Huber and Dressler won the first set by a wide margin and lost the second by only two points to reign again in the tie-breaker and claim a 2-1 (21-13, 19-21, 15-9) victory.