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French triumph at European qualifications for Mexico 2014

French youngsters Marc Darrieux and Timothee Platree have worked hard to get to the top of the European qualification tournament for the World Championship

Matosinhos, Portugal, June 8, 2014 - The French pair Marc Darrieux /Timothee Platre topped the final standings of the European Qualification Tournament for the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball U17 Men’s World Championship.

France will also be joined by Switzerland, Spain, Russia, Portugal and the Netherlands to represent Europe in the main draw battles in Mexico.  In addition, Israel, Poland, Italy, Turkey and Latvia secured spots in Acapulco’s qualification on July 15 for a second chance of making it to the main draw of this inaugural event.

On the last competition day in Matozhinos, Darrieux/Platre had a tough semifinal duel with Spaniards Jimenez Gutierrez/Alejandro Huerta Pastor, which they managed to win after three sets (15-21, 21-15, 15-8).  The French teenagers were more straightforward in the final against Swiss tandem Yves Haussener/Florian Breer, shutting them out 2-0 (21-19, 21-13).

Marc and Timothee, who showed some spectacular beach volleyball in the course of the competition, were very pleased with the opportunity to travel to Mexico.

“We are thrilled as this was a victory backed by many years of hard work,” the two French youngsters said. “We have played together for three years now, training every day. However, we also play indoor volleyball, so we need to balance both disciplines. This tournament has been great, with a great atmosphere and good organisation.  We are very satisfied.”

The runners-up from Switzerland were also extremely happy.

“This is the second international event we took part in and we have won all our matches until the final, which is just awesome,” they said.  “This event is very important, since it shows the door to the World Championship, and we have managed to enter that door. This tournament has shown great organisation from transportation to food. It is all very good."

The Spanish team took the third place with a 25-minute convincing straight sets (21-14, 21-12) victory over Russian pair Vasilii Ivanov/Alexey Trokhan.

The real interest of the day was in the battle for distribution of the places from fifth through eighth with the participation of two Portuguese duos and one each from Israel and the Netherlands. One of these three countries would not be able to qualify directly for the main draw of the World Championship. 

The Portuguese teams won both semifinal clashes, so they left it down to the Dutch team Nikita Artamonov/Mees Blom and Israeli team Ofek Berman/Ben Yehuda to settle it between each other. The Oranje shut out the Mediterranean side 2-0 (21-13, 21-8) to end up in the milestone seventh place, just above the cut-off line.

The Portuguese home heroes were very happy with the final result.

“It means a lot, we still cannot believe it,” Joao Jardim exclaimed. “We come from the south of Portugal and that means we had less time to prepare ourselves, but we were selected and I think we achieved the proposed goals. This tournament turned out OK.

“We had a great first match and in the second, although we did not play so well, we managed to win. The third match against the very strong Spanish team was even, but unfortunately we lost it. Our next match against Israel was much easier and we comfortably won. With the exception of one or two teams, the overall level of the tournament was very good.”


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