Aland, Finland, August 17, 2011 — Dutch duo Daan Spijkers and Emiel Boersma led qualifying for the men’s main draw at the $380,000 Paf Open on Aland.
The fourth qualifying seeds eased through with a straight sets victory over Australia’s Isaac Kapa and Sam Boehm, 21-19, 21-17. Earlier in the day they beat Danish brothers Oliver and Sebastian Kaszas 21-14, 21-11.
It continues the good run of form that the pair have enjoyed in 2011. At the FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Championships in Rome they beat eventual finalist Marcio Araujo and Ricardo Santos in the group stages and they hope to add a few more big name scalps to their collection whilst in the Aland Islands.
“It was a good game. It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t too tough,” Spijkers said. “We didn’t play that well as we were a little tired as we arrived late last night.
“Our aim is to win at least three games and finish ninth. After that anything is possible. We’ve shown we can beat the best this season, we just need to do it more consistently.”
Joining the Netherlands team in the main draw is the Austrian pair Daniel Mullner and Alexander Horst. They saw off Italian brothers Paolo and Matteo Ingrosso 21-17, 21-19 to advance.
The Italians were unable to find their rhythm against a determined and high-energy performance from Mullner and Horst.
“It was quite good and I think we had the game under control,” Mullner said. “I didn’t think it would be like that because we were playing such a good team, but we played really well.”
Despite playing under the pressure of sudden death elimination, the Austrians said they had felt relaxed throughout the match.
“It is always like this,” Mullner said. “We’ve been in the qualifiers quite a few times before, so it is nothing out of the ordinary for us.”
One team not through to the main draw though is Brazilian pair Bruno Oscar Schmidt and Joao Maciel who were seeded number one for the qualifiers after winning the Brazil country quota matches.
They slumped to a defeat to Turkey’s Selcuk Sekerci and Voltan Gogtepe. The Turskish team’s aggressive performance meant Bruno and Maciel were constantly kept on the backfoot and after losing the first set, they were unable to recover and lost 21-14, 21-18.
Also in qualifying Jason Lochhead and Kirk Pitman knocked out French brothers Kevin and Andy Ces, while Chinese pair Peng Gao and Cheng Chen beat Georgia’s Renato Gomes and Jorge Terceiro.
The men’s main draw at the Paf Open begins at 09.30 (local time) on August 18, with finals on Sunday, August 21. It is the 12th stage of the 14 tournament FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour, which concludes at the Morocco Open in Agadir from October 4 to 9.