Moscow, Russia, June 28, 2012—Led by host country Russia’s twin wins following Thursday’s opening day of men’s country pool play at the double-gender 2012 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Cup Olympic Qualification Tournament where two teams from each gender will emerge with spots in the field of 24 for next month’s 2012 London Olympic Games. In addition to Russia, other countries that emerged unbeaten from the first day of play with 2-0 records were from Austria, Mexico and Poland.
With the road to London clearly before them, 24 teams representing 12 countries have two men’s teams each in Moscow this week as the men played the first two rounds of pool play for two six-country pools.
Russia earned victories Thursday over Chile and Nigeria while Mexico defeated Nigeria and the Netherlands while Poland’s two victories were over China and Cuba.
Overall 46 teams representing 17 countries have two teams each in Moscow this week competing at Vodny Stadium on the grounds of the Royal Yacht Club on the banks the Moscow River,
In this unique-format country competition, with countries from the same FIVB Confederations split into separate pools, play will continue through Sunday. The top two national federations per gender from this competition will claim the final two berths to the Games, completing the beach volleyball lineup. After pool play, the top two countries in each gender will playoff in a final showdown early Sunday evening for the final two tickets to London.
Russia’s two teams that overcame teams from Chile were Serguei Prokopiev/Konstantin Semenov and Dmitri Barsouk/Yury Bogatov. Prokopiev/Semenov opened things up for Russia with a two-set victory over Chile’s Grimalt’s brothers Esteban and Marco, 21-19, 21-17 in 42 minutes while Barsouk/Bogatov defeated Chile’s Cristobal Martinez/Rodrigo Salinas, 21-13, 21-10 in 29 minutes. Their second win was a forfeit victory by Nigeria, who had flight issues and arrived late.
We had a very hard match against Chile's No. 1 team, they played really good,” commented Russia’s Prokopiev afterwards. “Finally we were able to take the end of the first set and did a good hib in the second one. Unfortunately my partner Konstantin Semenov has got some back aches.”
Four of the men’s country matches were determined by a third golden set to 15. Winning them were the Netherlands over Australia, Chile over Australia, Mexico over the Netherlands and Poland over Cuba.
In Mexico’s golden set 15-13 win over Australia, Mexico exercised its option to switch teammates and winning the set and match was Juan Virgen/Lombardo Ontiveros.
With the Road to London clearly before them, 46 teams representing 17 countries have two teams each in Moscow this week as pool play got underway in the double gender 2012 FIVB World Cup Olympic Qualification Tournament where two teams from each gender will emerge with spots in the field of 24 for next month’s 2012 London Olympic Games.
Competing on the grounds of the Vodny Royal Yacht Club alongside the Moscow River, the 12 countries began play in two men’s pools of six teams each in this unique-format country competition. With countries from the same FIVB Confederations split into separate pools, play will continue through Sunday. The top two national federations per gender from this competition will claim the final two berths to the Games, completing the beach volleyball lineup. After pool play, the top two countries in each gender will playoff in a final showdown for the final two tickets to London.
In men’s Pool A are two teams each from the Netherlands, Nigeria, Chile, Russia, Mexico and Australia while men’s Pool B consists of teams from Poland, Angola, Uruguay, Austria, Cuba and China.
While host Russia, Austria, Mexico and Poland were 2-0 on Thursday, finishing with 1-1 marks where Chile, China, Cuba and the Netherlands. With 0-2 records during opening day were Angola, Australia, Nigeria and Uruguay.
In Sunday’s finale, the top team from Pool A will play the second place team from Pool B and first from Pool B will meet second from Pool A in each gender with the two winning nations qualifying for the Olympics.
Russia entered the tournament as the host nation while all the other men’s teams except Austria qualified as the second and third place finishers at each of the FIVB Continental Cup Finals. Austria qualified as the fourth place team at the Europe Continental Cup as the CEV was previously selected to fill the field due to the need to have an extra team because the host nation (Russia) is competing in the event, hoping as well to earn a place in the upcoming Olympic Games.
Countries with two teams each in both the men and women’s competition are China, Netherlands, Mexico, Russia and Uruguay.
With the men playing two rounds of pool play and the women one on Thursday, action at the Vodny venue saw men’s competition where the Netherlands defeated Australia, 2-1, Cuba winning 2-0 over Angola, Austria defeating Uruguay 2-0 and Poland topping China 2-0.
With 22 countries having earned spots in the 24-team Olympic field for each gender, the official country nominations for individual teams will be announced on July 9 by the FIVB.
The beach volleyball competition in London will be held in a purpose-built 15,000-seat stadium at the iconic Horse Guards Parade in central London from July 28 through August 9.
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