Ukrainians, Germans lead race in Kish Island qualification
Julius Thole/Clemens Wickler are one of the two German teams that made it through to the next round in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour MICA Mall Kish Island 3-star
Vladyslav Iemelianchyk/Sergiy Popov gave Ukraine their positive start with a 2-0 (21-11, 21-17) win over Switzerland’s Adrian Heidrich and Mico Gerson, while compatriots Iaroslav Gordieiev/Evgen Zhuravel and Oleksii Denin/Denys Denysenko followed suit to keep their bid intact in the second round.
The Germans also had three teams in the first round but only Alexander Walkenhorst/Sven Winter and Julius Thole/Clemens Wickler made it through, as seasoned player Jonathan Erdmann and his partner Max Betzien bowed out of the tournament in a three-setter against Italy’s Tiziano Andreatta/Andrea Abbiati.
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In the second round, Iemelianchyk/Popov kept their momentum going as they beat Indonesia’s Gilang Ramadhan/Danangsyah Pribadi 2-0 (21-18, 21-13), while Denin/Denysenko concluded the day with a hard-fought 2-0 (21-18, 21-19) win over Thailand’s Nuttanon Inkiew/Sedtawat Padsawud.
Walkenhorst/Winter eliminated Gordieiev/Zhuravel 2-0 (21-16, 23-21), while Thole J./Wickler beat Turkey’s Murat Giginoglu/Hasan Huseyn Mermer to stay in contention.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Konstantin Semenov/Ilya Leshukov came up with two victories to be among the teams that will advance to the next round. Semenov’s entry to the Kish Island 3-star marks his return to active duty in beach volleyball since his fourth place finish at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
“After the Olympic Games, I had a long talk with my wife because it was very difficult to give time for my family because of competition and training, that is why I considered playing volleyball,” Semenov said. “It was very difficult because I had some minor injuries on my leg. That convinced my wife that I should play the discipline that I love, which is beach volleyball.
“I am very happy that I am back playing beach volleyball. I will try to give each match and each day 100 per cent. I am very happy to get two victories in the qualification round. I have a young partner, but we will try to be better and we will work hard to get medals.”
France’s Olivier Barthelemy/Romain Di Giantomasso, Lithuania’s Arnas Rumsevicius/Lukas Kazdailis and Italy’s Abbiati/Andreatta rounded up the teams which made it through to the next round.
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