FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Xiamen Open 2016 | 12 - 17 April 2016


Press release

Finsters/Tocs upset Marco/Garcia to reach Xiamen Open Main Draw

Latvia's Rihards Finsters receives the ball.

Xiamen, China, April 12, 2016 – The double-gender $150,000 FIVB World Tour Xiamen Open kicked off here on Tuesday as Latvian qualifiers Rihards Finsters and Edgars Tocs upset 2014 Xiamen Open silver medalists Alfredo Marco and Christian Garcia of Spain 2-0 (21-19, 21-13) to reach the men’s Main Draw.

Top seeded qualifiers Philip Gabathuler and Mirco Gerson of Switzerland and six other tandems also clinched their berths in the Main Draw of Xiamen Open at Gold Beach, Guanyinshan SimingDistrict.

Finsters/Tocs and Marco/Garcia fought to a 17-all tie in the first set of the second round qualification match before Tocs stopped ice Marco to make it 18-17 and Marco drove a ball long to give the Latvians a two-point cushion. Finsters/Tocs went on to seal the first set 21-19 and eased past the Spaniards 21-13 in the second.

“They were fighting till the end, we were a little bit lucky on the net, in the blocking and attacks,” said Tocs. “They struggled a little bit in the second set and we pushed it to the end. We have done things we have to do, it was good.”

Finsters and Tocs were “hungry” for the Main Draw, which is set to start on Wednesday. “We are hungry for the Main Draw, every win will be a good win,” Tocs said. “Our minimum goal is to get out of the group and we will try to get the fifth place, it’s another dream!”

Finsters enjoyed playing in Xiamen. “The weather is good. It’s not very hot, the sun is good.”

Later on Tuesday, Philip Gabathuler and Mirco Gerson of Switzerland, the No. 1 seeds in the 26-team qualification tournament, swept Armin Dollinger and Lorenz Schumann of Germany 2-0 (21-14, 21-16) to advance into the Main Draw.

In the second set, the German pair cut their deficit to 17-14 through a brilliant block of Dollinger to force Gabathuler/Gerson to call a time-out. After the game resumed, the Swiss duo found back their edge and wrapped up the match in 35 minutes.

“I guess we were leading five or six points, then they made like two breaks and we would like to have a break. And it was maybe already one point late to take a time out, so we made a little break and interrupt their rhythm, and just breathe deeply and come back on the court strong, and that was the goal,” said Gabathuler.

“I guess we found the rhythm, it was a good start for us,” he added. “Good serving from my partner made them a lot of trouble, and it was also better for me to have some blocks. I think about our side outs sometimes it was difficult, but we always find solutions and I think that's why we always put a lot of pressure on them and finally we could win.”

Gabathuler and Gerson vowed to do their best in the Main Draw, where 32 teams will play round robins in eight groups with top three finishers from each pool to make the knock-out stage.

“Step by step, game for game and let's see what group we get. It's going to be tough for sure, but I guess we have to complete this tournament and see how far we can go. We wanna do our best.”

The other teams advancing to the Main Draw are Thomas Kunert/Christoph Dressler from Austria , Nikita Liamin/Dmitri Barsouk of Russia, Australia’s Cole Durant/Bo Soderberg, Poland’s Michal Bryl/Kacper Kujawiak, Norway’s Morten Kvamsdal/Sandlie Sørum and Serbia’s Stefan Basta/Lazar Kolaric. Silic Filip and Ivan Zeljkovic of Croatia withdrew from their second round match against Kunert/Dressler due to a knee injury Zeljkovic received in the second set.

Twenty-four teams awaiting in the men’s Main Draw feature Latvia’s Aleksandrs and Janis Smedins, who finished third in Xiamen last year, and Italy’s Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo, the 2014 Fuzhou Open champions.

The gold medal team at the FIVB Xiamen Open will split $11,000 and 500 points, the silver $8,000 and 450 points, the bronze $6,000 and 400 points.

The 2015/2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar began with three Open events at the end of 2015. The remainder of the 2015/2016 calendar will include multiple FIVB Open and multiple FIVB Grand Slam events along with more Swatch FIVB Major Series events, and the second Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals. The highlight of the calendar will be the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil featuring 24 teams in each gender.

The event continues the road to Rio that lasts until June 13, 2016 with FIVB World Tour events counting towards the Olympic Ranking in order to determine the 15 of 24 spots for each gender that will take part in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

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