Sweden secure country’s first-ever World Tour podium finish

Aydin, Turkey, May 19 2018 – Two teams from Sweden as well as one each from Cuba and Russia progressed to the women’s semifinals of the Aydin one-star event on the 2018 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. This way, Sweden have secured their first-ever podium finish – men’s or women’s – on the World Tour.

Saturday featured a long programme with the last pool matches, followed by the round of 12 and the quarterfinals to determine the composition of Sunday’s semis. Winning their pools, top-seeded Ksenia Dabizha and Daria Mastikova of Russia, Italy’s Silvia Costantini and Agata Zuccarelli, Norway’s Victoria Faye Kjolberg and Ane Guro Hjortland, seeded third, and second-seeded Cubans Leila Martinez and Mailen Deliz progressed straight to the quarterfinals.

In one of the day’s early games, home stars Bugra Eryildiz and Aleyna Vence, seeded fourth, played Claudia Puccinelli and Gaia Traballi for a spot in the round of 12. The Turks could not find their rhythm and the Italians celebrated a compelling 2-0 (21-13, 21-17) victory.

“We are happy with making it to the next round, especially since we were so angry after yesterday’s loss in the pool,” Traballi said. “It is the first time we compete in the main draw of a World Tour event and it is our first event together as well. The crowd and the weather are amazing. The organizers are doing a great job and we love the city.” Puccinelli and Traballi then lost to Denmark’s Line Trans Hansen and Maria Elisabeth Tyndeskov 2-1 (22-20, 13-21, 15-13) in a match that lasted almost an hour. 

Later in the day, Sweden’s Kristina and Susanna Thurin opened the programme of the quarterfinals playing Italy’s Costantini and Zuccarelli. After losing the first set clearly, the Swedish twins stormed back to claim a 2-1 (13-21, 21-18, 15-11) victory and move on to the semis.

Sweden qualified a second team for the semis as Tadva Yoken and Sigrid Simonsson claimed the Scandinavian derby with Kjolberg and Hjortland by 2-0 (21-17, 23-21) in 54 minutes.

Dabizha and Mastikova played an incredibly intense game with Greece’s Panagiota Karagkouni and Aliki Spiliotopoulou to record a 2-1 (24-22, 19-21, 15-11) win and stay in contention for the medals.

Cuba’s Leila and Mailen became the fourth semifinalists, following their 2-0 (21-13, 21-16) victory in the match with Denmark’s Trans and Tyndeskov.


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