Muscat, Oman, March 16, 2018 – Nouh Al-Jalbubi and Mazin Alhashmi became the biggest sensation of the Muscat one-star men’s event on the 2018 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. To the great delight of the home fans at the Millennium Resort Mussanah, the Omani pair made the final four in their first ever participation on the Tour after two straight-set wins in Friday’s single elimination rounds.
In addition to Nouh and Mazin, Germany’s Philipp Arne Bergmann and Yannick Harms, Italy’s Tiziano Andreatta and Andrea Abbiati and Iran’s Rahman Raoufi and Bahman Salemiinjehboroun also qualified for the semifinals on the Gulf of Oman coast and will battle it out for the medals on Saturday.
The 13th-seeded Omanis started their day with a 2-0 (21-10, 21-18) win against Hong Kong’s Pui Lam Wong and Tsz Ho Kelvin Lau in the first knock-out round. In the afternoon hours of Friday, Nouh and Mazin continued their sensational quest with a 2-0 (21-15, 21-19) victory over Iran’s Aghamohammad Salagh and Abolhamed Mirzaali and triumphed with a spot in the semis.
Second-seeded Germans Bergmann and Harms were the first to secure a ticket to the semifinals. In a tough quarterfinal clash that lasted as long as 60 minutes, they snatched a 2-1 (21-17, 18-21, 15-12) victory over Iran’s Abbas Pourasgari and Arash Vakili, seeded third, who had reached this stage with a 2-0 (21-17, 21-13) win against Switzerland’s Quentin Metral and Simon Hagenbuch in the first direct elimination round earlier in the day.
Italians Andreatta and Abbiati, seeded fifth, managed a 2-0 (21-14, 21-15) quarterfinal victory over Switzerland’s Gabriel Kissling and Michiel Zandbergen to face the German duo in Saturday’s first semifinal, starting at 10 AM local time. The Swiss team had made the best eight with a 2-0 (21-17, 22-20) win against Czech Republic’s Vaclav Bercik and Jan Dumek.
Top-seeded Raoufi and Salemi completed the final four, becoming the only one of three Iranian duos in the quarterfinals to advance to the semis. They mastered a 2-0 (21-19, 21-17) shutout of Denmark’s Mads Rosager and Martin Trans Hansen and will challenge the home heroes in the second semifinal at 11 AM on Saturday. Earlier on Friday, the Danes claimed a 2-0 (21-15, 21-17) victory over Austria’s Daniel Muellner and Florian Schnetzer to progress to the quarterfinal encounter with the highest ranked Iranians.
All games on the last competition day, the two semifinals and the two medal matches to follow, will be streamed live on the FIVB YouTube Channel