FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Xiamen Open 2016 | 12 - 17 April 2016


Press release

Top seeds fall at Xiamen Open

Mexico’s Lombardo Ontiveros/Juan Virgen in action.

Xiamen, China, April 15, 2016 – Top three seeded tandems including 2015 Xiamen Open bronze medalists Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins from Latvia all crashed out of the $150,000 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Xiamen Open here with losses in the quarterfinals here on Friday.

No.1 seeded Chaim Schalk and Ben Saxton of Canada had their four-game winning streak snapped as they lost to Spain’s seventh seeds Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira in a full set thriller 2-1 (21-17, 19-21, 15-8) in the last quarterfinal match Friday afternoon. After splitting the first two sets with Schalk/Saxton, Herrera/Gavira jumped to a 9-5 lead in the tiebreaker and Herrera wrapped up the battle in 47 minutes with a pair of aces.

“Wow, I was lucky. I pushed for that, but it was lucky,” said Herrera. “It’s a great match. They played very well. But we have very good side-out, very good blocking and service; I think that’s the key to our victory.”

The Spaniards took a few minutes sitting next to the court to relax a little bit after securing their first top four finish of the season in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour.

“It’s important for us to win a medal here for the confidence, for the Olympic ranking and entry points,” said Gavira. “We have to enjoy the semifinal, our first semifinal of the year, and we have to enjoy the match. No matter what comes out, we’ll be happy.”

Earlier on Friday, Mexico’s ninth seeds Lombardo Ontiveros/Juan Virgen surprisingly swept Samoilovs/Smedins 2-0 (21-14, 21-19) to reach the medal round.

“It was a tough game. They are a very good team, I don’t need to say that, but we did better, the game was for us,” said Ontiveros. “The win is a big matter for us, because we made points for Olympic ranking. We’ll try to keep pushing more in this tournament and we want to see what will happen. Tomorrow it will be a pretty tough day. Anything can happen and I hope the things go for us.”

Italy’s third seeds Alex Ranghieri/Ignacio Carambula also failed to make the top four after surrendering to fifth seeds John Hyden/Tri Bourne of the United States while their compatriots and sixth seeds Paolo Nicolai/Daniele Lupo fell to Poland’s Maciej Rudol/Maciej Kosiak 2-0 (21-16, 21-18) in the first round of the knock-out stage Friday morning.

Fourth seeds Konstantin Semenov/Viacheslav Krasilnikov of Russia will be the highest ranked team in the semifinals after whitewashing Polish qualifiers Michal Bryl/Kacper Kujawiak 2-0 (21-12, 21-16).

“I want to play in the final,” Semenov declared.

The men’s semifinals and finals will be held on Saturday with the gold medal team at the FIVB Xiamen Open to split $11,000 and 500 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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