FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Xiamen Open 2016 | 12 - 17 April 2016


Press release

Schalk/Saxton lead eight teams into men’s top 16 at Xiamen Open

Ben Saxton (L) of Canada in action.

Xiamen, China, April 14, 2016 – Top seeds Chaim Schalk and Ben Saxton of Canada won round robin pool A with their third straight win here on Thursday to lead eight teams into the men’s top 16 at the double-gender $150,000 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Xiamen Open.

Second seeds and 2015 Xiamen Open bronze medalists Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins from Latvia, Italy’s Alex Ranghieri/Ignacio Carambula and Americans John Hyden/Tri Bourne also secured the top place of respectively pool with three victories in a row and a bye in the first round of single elimination stage.

Schalk/Saxton worked hard for a 2-0 (32-20, 21-16) victory Thursday morning over previously unbeaten Latvians Martins Plavins/Haralds Regza in pool A.

“It’s not easy; the first set went to thirty something. They were playing pretty well and in the first set the side outs were pretty good on both teams. We managed to get to sneak the first side-out and we were both tired in the second set, and we managed to make fewer errors than them. So we got the pool, which is nice,” said Saxton, who was satisfactory with their fine start in Xiamen following a disappointing 25th finish in Qatar last week.

“We got a much better start than last week. We got 25th last time, this week we need to come out stronger and we have so far. So we are hoping to continue to do well and play as well,” he added. “It’s the first time we won the pool this year. We are going to hope that that gives us the confidence to keep going further. We’ll see who we play next and hopefully we’ll beat them and continue forward.”

Schalk/Saxton, who were in a good position to qualify for their first Olympic Games, have already put their eyes on Rio.

“We are in good shape to make the Olympics, so we are hoping to increase our rank and get good seeding in the Olympics so that we can do well out there as well,” Saxton said. “(In Rio) We’ll take it one game at a game, try to win every game that we play and hopefully we’ll be able to come up with some souvenirs to come back with.”

Samoilovs/Smedins overcame a slow start to rally past Turkey’s 15th seeds Murat Giginoglu/Volkan Gögtepe 2-1 (21-23, 21-19, 15-11) for the top place in pool B.

“The previous match finished too late and we had too long warm-up, more than one hour I think. We lost this explosion and started to play slow and made so many mistakes at the beginning,” said Samoilovs. “Late in the first set, we came together, got motivated and came close. Then they were a bit lucky and they got the defense and attack over the net. In the second and third set, we were controlling the situation. We were playing our match and made less mistakes and it’s good to win the pool and we can sleep longer in the morning.”

Italy’s sixth seeds and 2014 Fuzhou Open champions Paolo Nicolai/Daniele Lupo, who had suffered an opening upset loss to Polish qualifiers Michal Bryl and Kacper Kujawiak, finished third in pool F after scoring their second full set win in two days against Chile’s 11th seeds Marco Grimalt/Esteban Grimalt 2-1 (15-21, 21-14, 18-16) Thursday afternoon. Falling down 3-0 in the tiebreaker, Nicolai/Lupo ran off four points in a row to force back into the game. After the two teams fought to a 16-all tie, Nicolai had a smash and Marco Grimalt made a spiking error to award the victory to the Italians.

“It’s difficult for us to start with a loss, because from then on every match was very important and like eliminations. While the good thing is that we are now focused on every match and every point,” said Nicolai. “The last two matches were really close and we have won both by two points in tiebreaker, that’s very important. Tomorrow is another day and we will get restarted.”

Bryl/Kujawiak finished atop of pool F with a 2-1 win-loss record and superior sets and points ratio while Nicolai/Lupo also booked their berth in the knock-out stage.

Other pool winners that have made sure a top 16 finish are fifth seeds Konstantin Semenov/Viacheslav Krasilnikov of Russia, ninth seeds Ontiveros Lombardo/Juan Virgen from Mexico and Spain’s seventh seeds Pablo Herrera/Adrian Gavira.

After the conclusion of the pool play, the 24-team knock-out stage will start on Friday with the second and third finishers from each pool to contend in the first round while top finishers awaiting in the second.

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.

Download highresolution

| More

More press releases

17.04.2016 10:44:02
Forrer/Vergé-Dépré sweep Austrian dark horses to win first World Tour title in Xiamen

Xiamen, China, April 17, 2016 – Fifth seeds Isabelle Forrer/Anouk Vergé-Dépré of Switzerland swept Austrian dark horses Barbara Hansel and Stefanie Sc... More...

17.04.2016 05:43:44
Hansel/Schwaiger topple Walsh/Ross to make Xiamen Open women’s final

Xiamen, China, April 17, 2016 – Austrian qualifiers Barbara Hansel and Stefanie Schwaiger fought back to beat top seeds Kerri Walsh and April Ross of ... More...

16.04.2016 12:52:33
Walsh/Ross overcome Heidrich/Zumkehr to make Xiamen Open semis

Xiamen, China, April 16, 2016 – Top seeds and title favorites Kerri Walsh and April Ross of the United States overcame tough challenge from defending ... More...

16.04.2016 10:37:42
Herrera/Gavira rally past Hyden/Bourne to win Xiamen Open

16.04.2016 04:50:28
Herrera/Gavira, Hyden/Bourne meet in Xiamen Open men’s final

15.04.2016 16:31:51
Catch all the action from the Xiamen Open LIVE

15.04.2016 13:42:08
Top seeds fall at Xiamen Open

15.04.2016 13:18:05
Behind the scenes in Xiamen with Canada

15.04.2016 12:33:32
German qualifiers storm into Xiamen Open women’s top 16

14.04.2016 15:19:49
Xue/Xia fight for Olympic berth

14.04.2016 12:22:15
Walsh/Ross, Xue/Xia off to winning start at Xiamen Open

14.04.2016 08:58:35
Schalk/Saxton lead eight teams into men’s top 16 at Xiamen Open

13.04.2016 15:33:28
German pair celebrate good start in new season

13.04.2016 15:29:07
Teams enjoy playing in “rainy” Xiamen

13.04.2016 10:14:21
Polish qualifiers stun Nicolai/Lupo in Xiamen Open men’s Main Draw

13.04.2016 09:39:09
Germany, USA claim two Main Draw berths each in Xiamen Open women’s qualifications

12.04.2016 09:08:41
Finsters/Tocs upset Marco/Garcia to reach Xiamen Open Main Draw

11.04.2016 17:24:48
No shakeup among Olympic provisional men's leaders

11.04.2016 16:31:50
FIVB Xiamen Open to kick off at Gold Beach

11.04.2016 06:24:28
2016 FIVB World Tour update after men’s FIVB Qatar Open in Doha

09.04.2016 06:05:15
FIVB World Tour returns to China for $150,000 FIVB Xiamen Open

08.04.2016 15:48:33
Walsh/Ross seek third consecutive World Tour medal in Xiamen

02.04.2016 18:47:32
Copacabana chase continues

11.11.2015 13:10:25
Beach volleyball prepares for bumper season after 2015/2016 calendar unveiled