FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Kish Island Open 2016 | 15 - 19 February 2016

#KishIslandOpen


Press release

Sheaf and Gregory lead way to Kish main draw


Gregory and Sheaf (pictured) have reason to be happy after reaching the Kish Open main draw

Kish Island, Iran, February 15, 2016 – Jake Sheaf and Chris Gregory started their year in the best way possible by reaching the Kish Island Open main draw after they won their qualification match on Monday. 

The English pair defeated Norway’s Sadegh Mohajer and Jorn Olav Gamlemoen 2-0 (21-16, 21-19) in their first match of 2016 to become one of the eight teams to reach the main draw.

“It was a little bit of a slow start to the year,” Gregory said. “We came in with a focus on intensity and aggression, but it was lacking a little bit in that match I’d say. 

“We mirrored the other team, rather than play to our strengths, but we got through it and tomorrow is another day.”

Sheaf and Gregory are in their third season together. In 2015 their aim was to reach the inaugural European Games in Baku, something they achieved.

Gregory

“We want to build on what we have done so far and continue to make gains to try to become a main draw team,” Gregory added. “It is a big year with the Olympics and we are going to go through Olympic qualification, but ultimately it is about accumulating the points that we want.

“It is the European Championships again and we want to qualify again, but get a better result. The European Games was an amazing experience and it was amazing to be part of Team GB. You could tell it was a big event and it is good to have had that experience of a multi-sport event.”

Austrians advance

Joining them in the main draw are Daniel Hupfer and Julian Horl. The Austrian pair beat Italians Matteo Galli and Federico Morichelli 2-0 (21-16, 21-15) to reach the pool stage.

Sam Pedlow
Hupfer dives for the ball

Hupfer and Horl were regulars in the qualifiers and pool stages on the World Tour in 2015, but now will aim to reach the elimination rounds later in the tournament. 

“It was a bit tough because we didn’t know them,” Hupfer said. “We watched them in the morning and knew we would have a good chance, but we would have to take the chances. 

“Considering it the first tournament of the season we weren’t at our best and were a little bit nervous at the beginning, but I think we did a good solid job.”

The Kish Island event is the first of the 11 Open tournaments to be staged by the FIVB in 2016, following on from Open events in Puerto Vallarta, Antalya and Doha in October and November last year, which heralded the start of the 2015-16 season. Qatar will host a second Open event in Doha from April 4 to 8.

The 2015-2016 beach volleyball calendar also includes five Grand Slams, three Major Series stops and the second edition of the Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals. The beach volleyball tournament at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games which will take place on Copacabana Beach will be the highlight of the 2016 calendar.

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