Agadir, Morocco, July 28, 2018 – After losing on Friday, Maksim Hudyakov and Ruslan Bykanov rebounded with three victories on Saturday to advance to the men’s semifinals on Sunday at the Agadir two-star event on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. Strong teams from Argentina, Austria and Lithuania are the other semifinalists.
In the survival battle in Pool B on Saturday morning, the 11th-seeded Russians cruised to a 2-0 (21-10, 21-10) shutout of Australia’s Gareth Mann and Christopher Blake. In the first elimination round, Hudyakov and Bykanov crushed Austria’s Florian Schnetzer and Daniel Muellner by 2-0 (21-16, 21-10), and in the quarterfinals they delivered another straight-set winner – 2-0 (21-14, 21-16) over Latvia’s Toms Smedins and Haralds Regza.
At 14:30 local time on Sunday, the Russian duo will face second-seeded Arnas Rumsevicius and Lukas Kazdailis for a place in the final. Also emerging from Pool B, but as the second-placed team, the Lithuanians started their day with a 2-0 (21-19, 21-18) win over Spain’s Raul Mesa and Christian Garcia in the first elimination round. Then, they played the only three-setter in the quarterfinals and managed a 2-1 (21-13, 21-23, 15-12) victory over Denmark’s Kristoffer Abell and Daniel Thomsen.
Top-seeded Nicolas Capogrosso and Julian Amado Azaad disposed of Sweden’s Linus Tholse and Jakob Molin with a 2-0 (25-23, 21-15) close in the first round. The Argentineans cruised to a speedier victory in the quarterfinals – a 34-minute 2-0 (21-11, 21-14) over Norway’s Svein Oddmund Solhaug and Lars Tveit Retterholt.
In Sunday’s earlier semifinal, at 13:30 local time, Capogrosso and Azaad will lock horns with Austrians Alexander Huber and Christoph Dressler. The seventh-seeded Pool F winners registered a 2-0 (21-3, 21-0) first round win over Sweden’s Martin Appelgren and Simon Boman. In the quarterfinals, Huber and Dressler had to work for their 2-0 (21-18, 21-16) upset of fourth-seeded Latvians Aleksandrs Solovejs and Rihards Finsters.
The bronze medal match on Sunday is scheduled for 17:30 local time to be followed by the grand finale at 18:30.