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Krou counting down the days till Kish Island Open

Krou (left) and Rowlandson are planning for a stellar start to 2016
Paris, France, January 28, 2016 – For France’s leading pair the resumption of the 2015-16 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour cannot come soon enough. 

Youssef Krou and partner Edouard Rowlandson have been working hard for the last three weeks in their home base of Montpellier on France’s southern coast, the first part of their preparations for the Kish Island Open that runs from February 15-19 and which is the first World Tour tournament of the year. 

Krou and Rowlandson have happy memories of playing in the Middle East. In 2014 they won bronze at the inaugural Qatar Open and then reached the semifinals in 2015. 

Before then though the pair will soon be jetting off to Egypt to step up their preparations and while there they will train alongside Latvia’s 2013 and 2014 World Tour champions Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins.

“Working with them helps us a lot because they are one of the best teams in the world and in Europe for several season,” Krou said. “We can only improve by working alongside them and it will also be good to be able to play outdoors. We are eager to start.

“During the season we don’t really have the chance to do much conditioning because the tournaments are so close together, so this is something we will work on during this period of our preparation. 

At the back of both players’ mind are the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games. At the moment the pair would miss out on qualifying via the FIVB Olympic Rankings, but there are still two more chances to qualify via the Continental Cup. 

It means that after they are finished in Kish Island they will jet off to Brazil for three weeks of competition to help them in their pursuit of a place on Copacabana Beach. First is the Maceio Open from February 23-28, then the Rio de Janeiro Grand Slam from March 8-13 and finally the Vitoria Open from March 15-20. 

“It is both near and far given the number of tournaments that there are until June 13 (when qualifiers from the rankings will be known). You can even qualify in the last tournament,” Krou added. “It is obvious that the schedule is very busy, but we aren’t concerned about it and in fact we are looking forward to it and we will go to Iran to win.”


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