FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Moscow Grand Slam | 26 - 31 May 2015

#MoscowGS


Press release

Egyptians “pleased” despite setback


Ayman Shoukry (left) and Usama Eltranisy of Egypt made their FIVB World Tour debut Tuesday at the Moscow Grand Slam

Moscow, Russia, May 26, 2015 - It is not often that one is “pleased” with their performance in a loss, but Usama Eltranisy and Ayman Shoukry of Egypt were “pleased” to be playing in their first-ever FIVB World Tour event here Tuesday in the US$800,000 Moscow Grand Slam.

“Yes, we are disappointed in losing today to such a powerful team like the Brazilians,” said 33-year old Shoukry after the 2-0 (21-7, 21-7) setback in 25 minutes to Vitor Felipe and Alvaro Filho, the top-seeded qualifying team in the men’s competition of the Moscow Grand Slam that is being played at the at the Vodny Stadium Beach Sports Center.

“In Egypt and with our competitions with other African continent teams, we do not see this level of play,” said Shoukry, who owns a nursery in Cairo. “The only way we are going to get better is playing against the world’s best teams regularly. We hope to be playing in the upcoming events in Croatia and Norway before competing next month in the world championships. We have issues with our travel plans and we hope to overcome them”

Shoukry and the 34-year old Eltranisy, who is an accountant, earned a berth in the 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships by finishing fourth earlier this year in the African continental qualifier in Tunisia. The Egyptians have also advanced to the final qualifying rounds of the African Continental Cup that will determine the confederations guaranteed berth into the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

“We are really looking forward to playing in the world championships,” said Eltranisy, who has been playing Beach Volleyball with Shoukry for about 10 years. “This is very special for us to represent our country in such a prestigious event. We have a very tough pool for our opening rounds in Rotterdam, so we will have to play at a very high level. That is why we are here this week to see how the best teams in the world play.”

Both Egyptians are also instrumental in introducing and developing Beach Volleyball in their country. “We are pleased to be a part of helping younger players to become a part of this sport,” said Shoukry, who also plays indoor Volleyball. “We are starting to get more and more young people involved, but we have a long way to go. Just like us, we just need to get people playing more and more against each other to develop their skills.”

Eltranisy and Shoukry’s pool in Rotterdam will include teams that have combined to play in 343 FIVB-sanctioned events with each player in the group except for the Egyptians playing at least eight season in world-wide Beach Volleyball competitions.

Pool D in the men’s FIVB World Championships (June 26-July 5) will feature Grzegorz Fijalek/Mariusz Prudel of Poland, Josh Binstock/Sam Schachter of Canada and Jackson Henriquez/Jesus Villafane of Venezuela. All three teams are competing in the Moscow Grand Slam this week as the Poles finished fourth in the 2014 FIVB World Tour rankings behind pairs from Latvia, the United States and Brazil.

Binstock and Schachter were 29th internationally last season and won one of the season-ending events in Paraná, Argentina. Jackson and Fane are playing together for the first time this season, but each have a decade worth of experience on the international circuit.

Although Eltranisy and Shoukry have been ousted from the Moscow Grand Slam, the two players are “pleased” to be in the Russian capital. “This is a great opportunity for us to watch the best players in the world,” said Shoukry. “Reading books or viewing videos of playing Beach Volleyball is useful, but the experience of playing and watching in person provides real-time understanding of the sport. We are just pleased to be here.”

The Moscow Grand Slam continues Wednesday with the opening Main Draw rounds for both men and women with the medal matches for both gender Sunday. Next week, the FIVB World Tour’s first “Major Series” stop will be played in Croatia (Pore?, June 1-7) followed by a stop in Norway (Stavanger, June 8-14).

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