Raoufi and Mirzaali beat compatriots to claim Satun semifinals spot


Iran's Rahman Raoufi and Abdolhamed Mirzaali beat top-seeded compatriots Arash Vakili and Bahman Salemiinjeboroun to reach Satun semifinals

Satun, Thailand, April 10, 2019 – Iranian, Thai and Kazakh pairs contested three of the final four spots with three-set comeback wins, while an all-European duel decided the remaining spot in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Satun 1-star semifinals on Wednesday.

In one of the three country v country quarterfinal matchups, third seeds Rahman Raoufi and Abdolhamed Mirzaali eliminated top seeds Arash Vakili and Bahman Salemiinjeboroun in the tightly contested all-Iranian clash. Raoufi and Mirzaali rallied from a set down to beat their compatriots 2-1 (19-21, 21-19, 16-14).

In the next two encounters, Kitti Duangjinda and Dunwinit Kaewsai outlasted Phichakon Narathon and Phanupong Thanan 2-1 (15-21, 21-19, 15-8) in the all-Thai quarterfinal encounter, while Dmitriy Yakovlev and Sergey Bogatu bested second seeds Alexandr Dyachenko and Alexey Sidorenko 2-1 (14-21, 21-19, 15-11.

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Two European teams were pitted against each other in the fourth quarterfinal match, where Ukrainians Vladysla Iemelianchyk and Denys Denysenko cruised past Hungarians Artur Hajos and Balazs Benko in straight sets (21-12, 21-13).

Iranian pair Raoufi and Mirzaali will face Thai duo Kitti and Dunwinit in the first semifinal match on Thursday at 9.40 local time, followed by the match between Ukraine’s Iemelianchyk and Denysenko and Kazakhstan’s Yakovlev and Bogatu at 10.30.