Iran’s Raoufi and Mirzaali in action in the Aydin (TUR) semifinals in May 2018
Samsun, Turkey, July 25, 2018 – Another Turkish stop on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour is coming up this week. The city of Samsun on the Black Sea coast is set to host the fifth World Tour event in Turkey for the 2018 season. The double-gender one-star tournament will take place from July 26 through 29.
A total of 40 teams (22 men’s and 18 women’s pairs) from 17 different countries have registered to take to the sand at the TVF Samsun Beach Volleyball Center and battle it out for their share of the $10,000 prize money.
In each gender, a 16-team main draw will feature a modified pool play system with the top three teams in each four-team pool progressing into the single elimination stage. With 12 duos seeded directly into the main draw, the remaining four spots will be contested in qualifications to be played on Thursday, July 26.
Eva Freiberger and Valerie Teufl lead the way on entry points in the women’s preliminary seeding. Earlier this month, the Austrian duo finished fifth at both the Porec and the Daegu one-star events, their best results on the World Tour so far. At Samsun, Freiberger and Teufl will be chasing their first ever medal on the Tour.
Two Czech pairs complete the top three in the women’s main draw. 30-year-old Karolina Rehackova is teaming up with 19-year-old Marie-Sara Stochlova for the first time on the World Tour. Neither has ever won a place on a World Tour podium before and they are hoping their partnership will bring them their first medals on the Tour.
Similarly, 25-year-old Sara Olivova, former partner of Rehackova, with whom she earned two fifth-place finishes earlier this season, will now be partnering with 20-year-old Tereza Pluharova for the first time. Pluharova comes in with one fourth place to her name from her only previous World Tour appearance, at the Langkawi one-star in April.
Four Turkish pairs and one each from Denmark, Hungary, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Sweden complete the list of 12 duos seeded directly into the women’s main draw, awaiting four more additions emerging from Thursday’s qualification battles.
Two Iranian teams top the main draw entry list on the men’s side. 40-year-old veteran Rahman Raoufi and 29-year-old Abolhamed Mirzaali lead the way after having won a medal at their previous two World Tour appearances, both at one-star events – bronze at Satun and silver at Aydin. They will be playing for the first gold – as a team or individually.
29-year-old Bahman Salemiinjehboroun, who has one silver and one bronze on his showcase, both in partnership with Raoufi, and his current partner, 27-year-old Arash Vakili, will be playing at their third World Tour event together after finishing fifth at the previous two – Satun and Aydin.
Oman’s Mazin Alhashmi and Nouh Al-Jalbubi come third on the list. They made headlines when they finished fourth at their first ever World Tour participation, the Muscat one-star at home. This will be the fourth appearance on the Tour for the Omani tandem.
The remaining nine pairs with secure spots in the men’s main draw come from Turkey (four), the Czech Republic (two), Austria, Lithuania and Serbia.