FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Antalya Open | 20 - 25 October 2015

#AntalyaOpen


Press release

May medal, October objective for Turkey’s Giginoglu and Gogtepe


Giginoglu and Gogtepe are building towards the Rio Olympics

Antalya, Turkey, October 17, 2015 - After starting the 2015 FIVB World Tour calendar year in May with a podium place performance in Switzerland, Turkey's Murat Giginoglu and Volkan Gogtepe are hoping to attain the same objective here this coming week for their family, friends and fans on home sand at the Antalya Open, which runs from October 20-24.

Giginoglu and Gogtepe's bronze medal finish in May at the Lucerne Open was Turkey's first-ever men's or women's podium placement on the FIVB World Tour since the start of international Beach Volleyball competition in 1987.

“This is the biggest thrill of my life," said Giginoglu after his team's bronze medal in Lucerne over Switzerland's Nico Beeler and Alexei Strasser. “We played a really good game. It’s a huge win for us and we are just happy that our hard work in the winter already pays off here in Lucerne.  This bronze medal is just a first step on the long road to Rio (2016 Olympic Games).”

Both players are 28 and the pair have enjoyed their best season on the World Tour where they established themselves as their country's leading candidate for a first-time beach volleyball berth in the 2016 Olympic Games on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro.

“We aim to go to Rio,” Gogtepe, who teamed with Giginoglu for the first-time on the FIVB World Tour in September 2014 at an international event in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Turkish coach Carlos "Alemao" Galletti feels that the Antalya event will be a good opportunity for Giginoglu and Gogtepe to improve their chances for the Rio 2016 Games.  The Turks currently rank 21st on the provisional Olympic qualifying list, with the top 15 qualifying automatically.

"We aim to achieve good results in this tournament so it will provide an advantage to join the Olympics,” said Galletti, who competed 23 FIVB World Tour events for Brazil with one gold medal.  “Antalya is one of the best locations to play Beach Volleyball, so it’s important (for Turkey) to host such events to grow the sport in the country."

Galletti's Brazilian background has played an important part in the development of beach volleyball in Turkey.  Prior to his coaching career, Galletti captured his FIVB World Tour gold medal with Andrè Gomes on Copacabana in 1995 before playing two full seasons on the USA domestic tour in 1997 and 1999. 

Before joining the Turkish Beach Volleyball program in 2014, Galleti coached the US’s Holly McPeak, Australia’s Natalie Cook and Tamsin Barnett, Brazilians Shelda Bede and Adriana Behar and Greece’s Vasiliki Arvaniti, Vasso Karadassiou, Efthalia Koutroumanidou and Efi Sfyri.

"We are working very hard to further develop our sport in Turkey," said Galleti earlier this year before the start of the season. "We are ready for the challenges ahead."

Giginoglu and Gogtepe finished fifth, fifth and ninth under Galletti’s tutelage in their first three FIVB World Tour events last season in Brazil, China and Qatar. 

During a 12-month span, the three G's (Galleti, Giginoglu and Gogtepe) completed Turkey's greatest stretch of beach volleyball results on the FIVB World Tour by placing in the top nine finishers six times in 13. In addition to bronze in Lucerne, Giginoglu and Gogtepe placed fifth at events in Brazil, China and Japan. 

With a 32-30 FIVB World Tour match record together, Giginoglu and Gogtepe boast three-straight wins over world-ranked number two team Evandro Goncalves and Pedro Solberg of Brazil. The Turks also beat Germanys Markus Bockermann and Lars Fluggen twice, a team who won the first 2015 FIVB event in China. 

Despite playing in front of family, friends and fans this coming week, it is not be easy playing on home sand for any host country on the FIVB World Tour due to high expectations.  But, Giginoglu and Gogtepe are ready as Turkey host its first FIVB event since the U21 World Championships in 2010 and their first world tour stop since 1998.  

“This tournament will be a great opportunity for us,” Gogtepe said.

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