FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Xiamen Open 2016 | 12 - 17 April 2016

#XiamenOpen


Press release

Polish qualifiers stun Nicolai/Lupo in Xiamen Open men’s Main Draw


Michal Bryl and Kacper Kujawiak celebrate their big win.

Xiamen, China, April 13, 2016 – Polish qualifiers Michal Bryl and Kacper Kujawiak pulled off one major upset in the men’s Main Draw of the double-gender $150,000 FIVB World Tour Xiamen Open here on Wednesday by rallying past the sixth seeds and 2014 Fuzhou Open champions Paolo Nicolai/Daniele Lupo in full sets.

Bryl/Kujawiak, who were seeded 27th in the 32-team Main Draw tour, fought back from 11-5 down in the second set to take the 2-1 (22-24, 21-18, 15-12) victory in a pool F match on the rainy Gold Beach Wednesday morning. In the decisive third set, Nicolai/Lupo fought hard to pull within 12-10, only to find the Polish duo run off three points in a row to wrap up the victory in 44 minutes.

“We are very, very happy to win this match. We just kept going and never gave up. The second set was very important to us, because we were able to come back from 11-5 down. If we gave up, the game was over,” said Bryl. “We are very excited. It's hard for a young team like us to play against a strong team like Nicola/Lupo. They are really a strong team with a tall defender. So we are very, very happy to win.”

“The weather condition made it difficult for us,” Bryl added. “Because the ball is heavy and when it touches the net, it does not fall down, but instead goes faster. I think we had a bit of luck today, but we did our best.”

No. 24 seeds Thomas Kunert/Christoph Dressler from Austria and No. 25 seeds Cole Durant/Bo Soderberg of Australia also collected upset wins on Wednesday as they beat ninth seeded Mexicans Juan Virgen/Lombardo Ontivero and eighth seeded Chinese Chen Cheng/Zhang Lizheng respectively.


Top five seeds of the men’s Main Draw, namely Chaim Schalk and Ben Saxton of Canada, Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins from Latvia, Italy’s Alex Ranghieri/Ignacio Carambula, Konstantin Semenov/Viacheslav Krasilnikov of Russia and Americans John Hyden/Tri Bourne, all posted a pair of wins on Wednesday to stay unbeaten in respective pool play.

Samoilovs/Smedins, the bronze medalists in Xiamen from last year, eased past Chinese Lin Wuqin/Lu Zequan 21-13, 21-17 before sweeping Canada’s Sam Pedlow/Grant O’Gorman 21-15 and 21-15.

“This Chinese team is a very good team. They have very good technical skills and play fast balls. The second set was very close and then we started to do some tricky things and it worked out for us. I think they just need more experience,” said Samoilovs after the morning match. “It's a good start for us, especially when playing in such (rainy) conditions. We were in California for three weeks and before that we were in Egypt, so it's the first time for us to play in the rain this season. The ball is heavy and it's difficult to set.”

“We hope to have some good results. Every time entering a tournament, we want to have the highest ranking possible,” he added. “This season the most important thing is the Rio Games. We are in a good position in the qualifying process and we still need to get some more good results. We'll try our best and let's see what will happen.”


Thirty-two teams are playing round robins in eight groups with top three finishers from each pool to qualify for the single elimination knock-out stage.

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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