Bandar Torkaman, Iran, October 3, 2018 – Fifth-seeded Alexey Kuleshov and Artem Petrossyants of Kazakhstan were the only team that won two victories on the first competition day at the men-only one-star stop in Bandar Torkaman on the 2018 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. Kuleshov and Petrossyants advanced directly to the quarterfinals alongside the three highest seeded Iranian pairs, who started their main draw campaigns with byes before winning their respective pool finals.
The Kazakhstani pair came back from a set down to win a tough match with Iran’s Kalteh Kambiz and Vahid Nikoufar by 2-1 (19-21, 21-18, 17-15) of the first leg in Pool D. In the winners’ game Kuleshov and Petrossyants hammered out a speedy 2-0 (21-11, 21-16) victory over another Iranian duo, Reza Naghibi Zadeh Shamili and Abolhassan Khakizadeh, to win the pool, while Kambiz and Nikoufar lost the third-place match to Thailand’s Kitti Duangjinda and Banlue Nakprakhong to become the only team in the tournament eliminated after pool play.
Top-seeded Bahman Salemiinjehboroun and Arash Vakili of Iran won Pool A by emerging victorious from the longest lasting match of the day. After 58 minutes of action, Salemi and Vakili celebrated with a 2-1 (21-18, 21-23, 15-9) win over compatriots Parviz Farrokhi and Behnam Tavakoli.
Another top Iranian pair, second-seeded Rahman Raoufi and Abolhamed Mirzaali, also advanced directly to Thursday’s quarterfinals. In the winners’ match in Pool B, they delivered a 2-0 (21-15, 21-16) shutout of Czech Republic’s Martin Sramek and Dominik Samec.
In Pool C, third-seeded Abbas Pourasgari and Aghamohammad Salagh, also of Iran, topped the standings after a 2-0 (21-16, 21-11) victory over Thailand’s Narongdet Kangkon and Dunwinit Kaewsai.
Finishing second or third in their pools, four teams from Iran, two from Thailand, and one each from Czechia and Cote d'Ivoire will play in the first elimination round on Thursday morning for the four remaining vacancies in the quarters.