FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Antalya Open | 20 - 25 October 2015

#AntalyaOpen


Press release

Top seeded qualifiers O’Gorman and Pedlow ease into main draw


Four main draws in a row for Grant O'Gorman (right) and his partner Sam Pedlow

Antalya, Turkey, October 21, 2015 – Top seeded qualifiers Grant O’Gorman and Sam Pedlow eased into main draw of the FIVB World Tour Antalya Open on Wednesday with two straight wins over Qatar’s Ahmed Tijan and Mahmoud Assam (21-12, 21-16) and Austria’s Daniel Hupfer and Julian Hörl (21-16, 21-12).

O’Gorman (21) and Pedlow (28) made it to the main draw in their previous three events, finishing ninth in Rio de Janeiro, a career best fifth in Xiamen and 17th in Puerto Vallarta. In Turkey the Canadians were close to being in the main draw directly, but ended up as top seeded team in the qualifier.

“We played two decent teams and we knew what we had to do today”, a very happy O’Gorman said after the final round. “We had to qualify every single tournament this year, it’s been a long season. But it’s been a fun season though. This is four main draws in a row for us, so this is a record.”

“We are in the best form we have ever been in our careers”, O’Gorman continued. “So that’s exciting and we don’t want the season to end. We fought together hard for many years and it’s finally starting to get together. We are bonding and we are becoming better friends as we go.”

Kufa-brothers

While Czech player Robert Kufa (28) and his partner Jan Dumek, seeded seventh in Antalya’s qualification tournament, did not make it to main draw, his older brother and former partner David Kufa (33) did.

Haven’t played on the World Tour since 2012 David Kufa and his partner David Lenc, ranked 30th, surprised everyone with a 2-1 win (21-17, 16-21, 15-10) over third seeded Serbians Stefan Basta and Lazar Kolaric in the first qualification round. In their second and final match they booked a 2-0 (21-18, 21-13) win over 19th seeded Venezuela’s Rolando Hernandez and Jhonatan Golindano.

For Lenc this will be his first main draw experience. Secretly he knew they had a chance to make it, because they had had some successes on the national tour. “Expecting is a strong word for it, but we were really hoping to get in. The results in the Czech Republic showed that we were in good shape”, he said.

The more experienced David Kufa stopped playing professionally long ago and is working as a stockbroker, but still takes to the sand once in a while. His last World Tour event dates back to 2012 though. “And it’s my first main draw since playing with my brother in 2008. So this is a big success for both of us.”

The Kufa-brothers stopped playing together after they finished 25th at the Mallorca Open in 2008. David Kufa: “He decided to play with somebody else. But I think it was a good decision, because he plays beach volleyball professionally. Me only part-time because I work. So it was a good decision for him and also for me because I have a good partner too.”

The other six teams to make it to the main draw are Austria’s Thomas Kunert and Christoph Dressler (2nd), Norway’s Geir Eithun and Lars Fredrik Tvinde (6th), Latvia’s Edgars Tocs and Rihards Finsters (10th), Israel’s Sean Faiga and Ariel Hilman (12th), USA’s Derek Olson and Marty Lorenz (20th) and Kazachstan’s Alexandr Babichev and Alexey Kuleshov (24th).

Samoilovs and Smedins team to beat

European champions Alexander Samoilovs and Janis Smedins are the top ranked team in the Antalya Open main draw, which starts on Thursday. The Latvians have hit form after an injury break in June. They finished second at the Gstaad Grand Slam in July, won the Rio de Janeiro Open and Sochi Open and claimed the bronze medal in Xiamen in September.

Vice-European champions Alex Ranghieri and Adrian Carambula are the second seeded team in Antalya. The Italians won bronze at the Porec Majors in June, but are on a dry spell since then. Third seeded Youssef Krou and Edouard Rowlandson also had success at the beginning of the season with a bronze medal in Fuzhou and will be looking for an end of season podium place as well.

Turkey is hosting a men’s World Tour event for the fourth time after Opens in Alanya in 1996, 1997 and 1998. The host country has three teams in main draw, with Volkan Gogtepe and Murat Giginoglu being the home favourites. They won their first World Tour medal at the beginning of this season; bronze at the Lucerne Open.

Antalya is a beach resort on the southern coast of Turkey with over a million inhabitants. Matches are played at two different venues, the centre court, second and third court are situated at the seaside Beach Park. Court four and five are permanent courts at the Akdeniz University.

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