FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Antalya Open | 20 - 25 October 2015

#AntalyaOpen


Press release

Men’s top four on track for the podium in Antalya


Mexico's Lombardo Ontiveiros (facing) missed the last two events because of a broken hand

Antalya, Turkey, October 23, 2015 – The top four teams in the men’s competition of the FIVB World Tour Antalya Open are still on medal course after pool play ended on Friday.

Top seeds Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins booked their third victory in a direct match for the pool win against Polish youngsters Maciej Kosiak and Maciej Rudol: 21-14, 21-15.

Second seeded Alex Ranghieri and Adrian Carambula also won their pool, despite their forfeit in the final pool play match against Norway’s Oivind Hordvik and Bjarte Usken. Because of medical reasons the Italians thought it would be wise not to play.

“We had already won the pool, so the coach thought it would be best not to play, because of my shoulder injury”, Carambula explained. “It happened in Klagenfurt. I kind of landed weird on my shoulder diving for a ball. I have a little tear and lost some strength in the muscle because I can’t really work out. So it’s really bothering me. I will just try to get through the season and then do a lot of rehab after Doha.”

In this pre-Olympic season skipping an event is not an option, Carambula added. He and Ranghieri only started playing together this season, with one podium place in Porec (bronze). “We only have nine events so far, but we are really close to being in the top seventeen for the Olympics, so these last two events are really important for us to keep adding points.”

With two wins on Thursday over Kazakh qualifiers Alexandr Babichev and Alexey Kuleshov and Canada’s Sam Pedlow and Grant O’Gorman, the Italians are confident to get a good result in Antalya.

Carambula: “At this point of the process it’s naturally to look at what other teams are doing, but the key for us is to keep playing our game, having fun. We know if we keep doing this results will come. The chances are good, so we just have to keep playing our game.”

“In this tournament you don’t play maybe the best of the world, but everyone is coming here so hungry and they all want to beat you. It doesn’t matter how you get it done. But as long as you get those first couple of wins in the pool and then go straight to the second, that’s always a plus.”

Böckermann and Flüggen show excellent form

Third seeded Markus Böckermann and Lars Flüggen showed form with their third straight win. The Germans defeated Dries Koekelkoren and Tom van Walle of Belgium 2-0 (27-25, 21-15) in the final pool play match.

So far newcomers Koekelkoren and Van Walle had been without set loss too and it was a tough match, Flüggen said. “It’s good to win the pool, so we have a bit more rest tomorrow. But it was hard, especially today against the Belgians, because we didn’t know them. We didn’t have any video’s on them.”

Böckermann and Flüggen teamed up only this year. They had a flying start with a gold medal in Fuzhou and are peaking again towards the end of the season with silver in Rio and Xiamen.

“The form is pretty good, we were in the semifinals in the previous four FIVB events”, Flüggen said. “We dared not dream about this, especially after this long season. We had four times 25th in Grand Slams, sometimes 17th. This is really good for us.”

Mexico’s Lombardo Ontiveiros and Juan Virgin had a tough day, but won their pool anyway with a 2-1 (21-18, 7-21, 15-11) win over 13th seeded Spaniards Francisco Marco and Christian Garcia.

The fourth seeded Mexicans were especially disappointed about their ‘no-show’ in the second set. “I don’t know what happened”, Ontiveiros said. “But this is not good. We have to fix that. But Spain is a good team. We knew it would be a tough game.”

The two straight wins over Austria and USA on Thursday gave them confidence. “But”, Ontiveiros said. “Yesterday was a different day. The tournament goes in different ways so many times. We try to adapt to that and try to keep going.”

The 31-year old defence player missed the two previous tournaments in Xiamen and Puerto Vallarta. “I broke my hand before the Xiamen Open. It happened in the gym. I jumped and hit a bench and my finger went backwards, broke a metacarpus.”

So they skipped Xiamen and in Puerto Vallarta Virgin played with Ontiveiros’ younger brother Ulises, where they placed 17th. For the Antalya Open Ontiveiros got an ‘ok’ from the doctor. “He said I could play if I was careful. So we came here because we don’t want to lose too many points for the Olympics.”

The men’s competition continues on Saturday with the elimination rounds. The semifinals and medal matches are played on Sunday.

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