FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Kish Island Open 2016 | 15 - 19 février 2016


Press release

Naeini aiming to help lift Iran to new heights

Reza Naeini (left) and Bahman Gholipoury are part of Iran's growing beach volleyball team

Kish Island, Iran, February 15, 2016 – Iran’s players are becoming quickly accustomed to life on FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, especially as their country are hosting a World Tour event for the first time at the Kish Island Open this week.

Reza Naeini and Bahman Gholipoury are one of four teams that began the competition’s qualification tournament on Monday and while they were knocked out 2-0 (21-18, 22-20) by China’s Li Zhuoxin and Li Jian, they are confident about the future of Iranian beach volleyball.

“It is very exciting as it the first time the World Tour has come to Iran,” Naeini said. “There are some very famous players here, which is good for our beach volleyball players to experience playing against.

“In Iran volleyball is very popular, but I hope in the future that beach volleyball grows in popularity among the public. If one of the Iranian teams reaches the round of 16 here, that would be a good result for our country.”


Iran have been one of the volleyball success stories in recent years, most notably when they narrowly missed out on the bronze medal at the 2014 FIVB Volleyball World League Finals in Florence.

To help Iran’s beach volleyball players match that success the Iran Volleyball Federation have brought in Brazilian coach Luciano Barbosa to help their players’ development.

“For the first time we have a foreign beach volleyball coach. He’s Brazilian and they are the best beach volleyball country in the world,” the 39-year-old Naeini added. “He has only been here a month, but he has helped with our technique so much and we are better than before.”

Brazilian Luciano Barbosa is coaching Iran's beach volleyball teams

Prior to playing beach volleyball Naeini was a setter for a number of clubs in the Iranian Super League. Since his mid-20s he played volleyball in the winter months and beach volleyball in the summer, but now focuses exclusively on beach volleyball.

“It would be good to have a team or teams at every World Tour tournament and the Olympic Games Asian Qualifiers in Australia and Thailand,” Naeini said. “If a team went to the Olympic Games it would be great.

“If a team went to the Olympics it would make beach volleyball very popular. Here there are beaches to the north and beaches in the south and now the Federation has started to support beach volleyball.”

The Kish Island event is the first of the 11 Open tournaments to be staged by the FIVB in 2016, following on from Open events in Puerto Vallarta, Antalya and Doha in October and November last year, which heralded the start of the 2015-16 season. Qatar will host a second Open event in Doha from April 4 to 8.

The 2015-2016 beach volleyball calendar also includes five Grand Slams, three Major Series stops and the second edition of the Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals. The beach volleyball tournament at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games which will take place on Copacabana Beach will be the highlight of the 2016 calendar.

Download highresolution

| More

More press releases

19.02.2016 14:09:44
Qatari duo complete golden run on Kish Island

Kish Island, Iran, February 19, 2016 – Jefferson Santos and Cherif Younousse claimed their first ever FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour gold medals w... More...

19.02.2016 10:54:51
Re-watch: Kish Island Open Finals

Kish Island, February 19, 2016 - Catch all the action from the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Kish Island Open 2016 bronze medal match and final on ... More...

19.02.2016 09:55:33
Qataris into first final

Kish Island, Iran, February 19, 2016 – Jefferson Santos and Cherif Younousse had to hold their nerve to reach their first FIVB Beach Volleyball Worl... More...

19.02.2016 09:41:23
Re-Watch: Kish Island Open semifinals

18.02.2016 16:11:42
Friendship carrying Ontiveros and Virgen to new heights

18.02.2016 13:50:41
Russian duo down top seeds in Kish

17.02.2016 14:44:09
Russian pair silence Kish Island crowd as elimination rounds begin

16.02.2016 15:18:14
Rowlandson dreaming of run to Rio sands

16.02.2016 14:10:52
Canadians set up Italy showdown in Kish

15.02.2016 14:38:27
Sheaf and Gregory lead way to Kish main draw

15.02.2016 13:51:51
Naeini aiming to help lift Iran to new heights

14.02.2016 13:08:49
Kish Island set for World Tour opener

14.02.2016 09:00:28
World Tour Countdown -1: World Tour Finals in Fort Lauderdale

13.02.2016 17:03:12
World Tour Countdown -2: Samoilovs/Smedins J. claim two victories

12.02.2016 18:44:22
2016 Olympic Rankings resume with men’s $75,000 FIVB Kish Island Open

12.02.2016 17:05:30
World Tour Countdown -3: Brazilian women dominate the sand

11.02.2016 15:46:23
Distance no problem for Venezuelans as Kish Island re-starts World Tour

11.02.2016 14:08:07
World Tour Countdown -4: Lucena/Dalhausser post four podiums

11.02.2016 06:49:28
Farrokhi sees progress for Iranian beach volleyball

10.02.2016 17:10:42
World Tour Countdown -5: Alison/Bruno win five consecutive titles

10.02.2016 09:24:54
Jefferson/Cherif ready for Kish Island Open

09.02.2016 09:18:12
World Tour Countdown -6: Kerri Walsh Jennings hoping for more than six in 2016

08.02.2016 15:29:00
World Tour Countdown -7: Bockermann/Fluggen's seven match march to gold

08.02.2016 14:55:53
Salagh looks forward to Kish Island Open

08.02.2016 12:08:10
Busy Barbosa relishing Kish Island Open for hosts

07.02.2016 15:26:49
World Tour Countdown -8: Virgen/Ontiveros take eight steps to podium

06.02.2016 15:24:16
World Tour Countdown -9: Ninth time lucky for Gallay/Klug

05.02.2016 10:26:52
World Tour Countdown -10: 10 events for Emanuel/Ricardo

28.01.2016 23:59:42
Krou counting down the days till Kish Island Open

27.01.2016 16:36:25
Iran appoint Barbosa as beach volleyball coach

26.01.2016 14:49:01
English pair chase Rio dream

15.01.2016 18:22:12
World Tour set to restart in Kish

11.11.2015 13:03:36
Beach volleyball prepares for bumper season after 2015/2016 calendar unveiled