Doha, Qatar, March 6, 2018 – Mirco Gerson and Adrian Heidrich have settled into their surroundings in Doha at the 4-Star KATARA Beach Volleyball Cup and took little time adapting to the beach having left snowy Switzerland behind them to head to sunny Qatar.
The Swiss pair beat Germany’s Julius Thole and Clemens Wickler 2-0 (21-12, 21-15) to reach the main draw of the competition which begins on Wednesday.
The 4-Star KATARA Beach Volleyball Cup runs from March 6-10, and will take place at the KATARA Cultural Village. It is the fourth time that Doha has hosted an FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour tournament, following competitions in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
“It was amazing, it is a very big win and we’re very, very happy to be in the main draw of a 4-Star,” Gerson said. “It is my first time in Doha and it is very, very beautiful and the weather is warm, not like in Switzerland where it is minus 15 degrees.”
Gerson is 25, but has been playing on the World Tour since he was 19. His best results came in 2014, where he won bronze at the Stavanger 4-Star and Anapa 3-Star alongside Philip Gabathuler.
He and Gabathuler split at the end of 2016 and he teamed up with Heidrich at the start of 2018. They played at both The Hague 4-Star and Kish Island 3-Star tournaments, but failed to progress from the qualifying stages at either.
“We’ve had a lot of changes in Switzerland, all the old players stopped playing and there was a lot of rotation of the young players. There were a lot of changes and we’re all a lot of young players. We are here now and just want to play beach volleyball and enjoy ourselves.”
In total eight teams made it through qualification, one of which was Italy’s Alex Ranghieri and Marco Caminati.
Two years ago Ranghieri won Doha gold alongside Adrian Carambula. He and Caminati had occasionally played together, but are now a permanent pairing and they progress to the main draw with a 2-0 (21-17, 21-14) win over Russia’s Ilya Leshukov and Konstantin Semenov.
“It was definitely a tough match,” Caminati said. “We were playing against a very good team, with a player who has played on the World Tour for a number of years. We were able to work together well as a pair, in attack, in defence, it was a good match and we deserved our win.
“Two years ago Alex won here, but hasn’t advised me too much, apart from to enjoy myself as much as possible and we are playing without a lot of pressure and we are able to develop well as we are a new team, for me it is my first year playing at his level on the World Tour and there’s no real pressure apart from what we put on ourselves.”