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Pool winners progress further to Bandar Torkaman semis

Iran’s Abolhamed Mirzaali ready for action
Bandar Torkaman, Iran, October 4, 2018 – The four teams who won their pools and advanced directly to the quarterfinals of the men-only one-star stop in Bandar Torkaman on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, three Iranian and one Kazakhstani pairs, also made it further ahead to Friday’s semifinals.

Thursday’s quarterfinals started off with an all-Iranian three-set clash between second-seeded Rahman Raoufi and Abolhamed Mirzaali and eighth-seeded Parviz Farrokhi and Behnam Tavakoli. After 59 minutes of play, Raoufi and Mirzaali emerged victorious from a thrilling tie-breaker to close the match at 2-1 (21-13, 22-24, 22-20) and advance to the semis. Wild cards Farrokhi and Behnam had already played another three-setter earlier in the day. In the first elimination round, they managed a 2-1 (21-14, 15-21, 15-10) victory over compatriots Bahman Gholipoury and Rasoul Yamrali.

The second quarterfinal also featured a three-set battle. Fifth-seeded Alexey Kuleshov and Artem Petrossyants of Kazakhstan came back from a set down against Czech Republic’s Martin Sramek and Dominik Samec, seeded seventh, to master a 2-1 (17-21, 21-14, 15-8) win.

In another all-Iranian quarterfinal, third-seeded Abbas Pourasgari and Aghamohammad Salagh crushed bottom-seeded Reza Naghibi Zadeh Shamili and Abolhassan Khakizadeh by 2-0 (21-12, 21-8) in only 27 minutes.

Top-seeded Bahman Salemiinjehboroun and Arash Vakili of Iran were the last team to qualify for the quarterfinals. They delivered a 2-0 (21-19, 21-14) shutout of Thailand’s Narongdet Kangkon and Dunwinit Kaewsai, seeded sixth, who earlier knocked out their fourth-seeded compatriots Kitti Duangjinda and Banlue Nakprakhong with a 2-0 (21-16, 21-14) win in all-Thai affair.

In the first semifinal, at 10:00 local time on Friday, Raoufi and Mirzaali will face Kuleshov and Petrossyants.

An hour later, at 11:00, the all-Iranian semifinal between Pourasgari and Salagh and Salemi and Vakili will get underway.

The bronze medal match is scheduled for 15:00 in the afternoon, before the big final for the title follows at 16:00 local time. All four games on Friday will be streamed live on the FIVB YouTube channel.

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