European wins highlight Youth Olympic opening day


Brenda Ailen Churin & Delfina Amparo Villar (ARG) in action against Mara Betschart & Celine Baumann (SUI) (Photo: Copyright of Olympic Information Services)

Buenos Aires, Argentina, October 7, 2018 - Led by seven wins by European pairs, all five FIVB confederations posted opening pool play victories here Sunday in the Beach Volleyball competition at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games.

Led by reigning FIVB under-19 world champions and Denis Shekunov/Dmitrii Veretiuk of Russia, three men's and four women's team from the European confederation posted pool play wins Sunday.  Seeded second in the men's competition, Shekunov and Veretiuk defeated 31st-seeded Mikolaj Miszczuk/Dominik Poznanski of Poland 2-0 (21-12, 28-26) in a 37-minute Pool B match.

Pairs from the Asian (China, Indonesia and Thailand) and NORCECA (Costa Rica, Puerto Rico and the United States) confederations won three matches each while South American confederation had two victories (Chile and Venezuela).  Gambia posted the one triumph for the African confederation.

With host Argentina filling the top seeds in the men's and women's competition, Russian pairs are favorites to top the podiums when medals are presented after the final matches October 17.  The Russian women's team Mariia Bocharova and Maria Voronina joined compatriots Shekunov and Veretiuk in winning the gold medals at the FIVB's 2018 under-19 World Championships at Nanjing, China, in mid-July.

The final women's match Monday will feature the second-seeded Bocharova and Voronina against 31-seeded Dana Roskic/Erika Vermette of Canada on court No. 1 for the Pool B meetings.  The two teams will be playing against each other for the second time this season with Bocharova and Voronina posted a 2-0 (21-17, 21-17) quarter-final win over the Canadians at the U19 World Championships at Nanjing on July 14.

Host Argentina lost its first Beach Volleyball match at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympics Sunday when top-seeded Brenda Churin and Delfina Villar dropped a 2-1 (23-25, 21-17, 15-7) Pool A decision in 51 minutes to 32nd-seeded Celine Baumann/Mara Betschart of Switzerland in the final women's match of the day on center court.
On Monday, top-seeded Bautista Amieva/Mauro Zelayeta of Argentina play the final men's match on the second day of competition against 32nd-seeded Nathan Broch/Timon Gysin of Switzerland.

Beach Volleyball pool play highlights the first six days of competition at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympics opens followed by the elimination rounds where the top three teams from each pool advances to single-elimination bracket play.  Both the men's and women's quarter-finals will be played October 15 followed by the semi-finals October 16 and the medal matches October 17.