Bandar Torkaman, Iran, October 2, 2018 – The first of three one-star events on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, part of the Caspian Sea Series in Iran, is ready to get underway in Bandar Torkaman on Wednesday. This men-only tournament will take place through Friday, October 5.
15 teams from six different countries and three different continental confederations have signed up to take part in the competition in Bandar Torkaman. No qualification matches will be held and the tournament will start directly from the main draw, featuring a modified pool play system with the top three teams in each pool progressing into the single elimination stage. The pool winners will advance directly to the quarterfinals, while for the pool runners-up and the third-placed duos one additional elimination round will take place before the quarters.
The host country will be represented by as many as eight pairs. Two of the Iranian teams lead in the preliminary entry-point seeding with Bahman Salemiinjehboroun and Arash Vakili topping the list. 29-year-old Salemi, who has one silver and one bronze on his World Tour showcase, and his current partner, 28-year-old Vakili, will be playing at their fourth World Tour event together after finishing fifth at the previous three – Satun, Aydin and Samsun.
40-year-old veteran Rahman Raoufi and his teammate Abolhamed Mirzaali, who come in second, have medaled at two of their three World Tour appearances, all at one-star events – bronze at Satun and silver at Aydin. While Raoufi has one silver and one bronze in partnership with Salemi too, at Bandar Torkaman he and Mirzaali will be playing for their first gold – as a team or individually.
Oman’s Nouh Al-Jalbubi, 26 years old, and Mazin Alhashmi, 30 years old, come third on the list. They made headlines when they finished fourth at their first ever World Tour participation, the Muscat one-star at home. This will be the fourth appearance on the Tour for the Omani tandem.
In addition to the six other Iranian teams, the Asian confederation will also be represented in the main draw line-up by one more Omani duo, two pairs from Thailand and one from Kazakhstan. Europe and Africa are present with teams from the Czech Republic and Cote d'Ivoire, respectively.