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Sidorenko and Dyachenko to challenge top seeds in Anzali final

Alexandr Dyachenko in action during the all-Kazakhstani quarterfinal
Bandar Anzali, Iran, October 18, 2018 – Kazakhstan’s Alexey Sidorenko and Alexandr Dyachenko will challenge home favourites Bahman Salemiinjehboroun and Arash Vakili in Friday’s final for the gold medal at the Bandar Anzali one-star stop on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. Two other Iranian teams will play for the bronze.

Top-seeded Salemi and Vakili had a long and hard day on the sand on Thursday, but managed recover from the unexpected defeat at the beginning of their main draw campaign on Wednesday and went unbeaten through three elimination rounds to reach the final. The Iranian standouts started their day with a 2-0 (21-12, 21-19) victory over Kazakhstan’s Alexey Kuleshov and Artem Petrossyants. Their toughest game on Thursday was in the quarterfinals, where they came back from a set down to claim a hard-fought 2-1 (12-21, 21-19, 17-15) win over Poland’s Kacper Kujawiak and Mateusz Paszkowski.

Salemi and Vakili emerged victorious from their semifinal encounter with fellow Iranians, second-seeded Rahman Raoufi and Abolhamed Mirzaali, in a remake of the Bandar Torkaman final from two weeks ago. After a first set that went deep into overtime, the top seeds cruised on to a 2-0 (26-24, 21-15) shutout.

Third-seeded Sidorenko and Dyachenko skipped the first elimination round before achieving a hard-fought 2-0 (21-19, 23-21) quarterfinal victory in their all-Kazakhstani clash with fourth-seeded Sergey Bogatu and Dmitriy Yakovlev. In the semifinals, they faced Iranian wild cards Abbas Pourasgari and Alireza Aghajanighasab and, after losing the extended first set, mastered the next two on the way to a 2-1 (20-22, 21-15, 15-10) win.

The last competition day on Friday will start with Raoufi and Mirzaali facing Pourasgari and Aghajani in the bronze medal match, scheduled for 10:00 local time. An hour later, at 11:00, the grand final between Iran’s Salemi and Vakili and Kazakhstan’s Sidorenko and Dyachenko will get underway. Both games will be streamed live on the FIVB YouTube channel.

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