Bandar Torkaman, Iran, October 2, 2019 - Defending champions Bahman Salemi and Arash Vakili maintained their perfect record at the Bandar Torkaman event as the Iranian pair has now won six-straight FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour matches at this venue with a pair of wins here Wednesday.
Seeded first in the competition, Salemi and Vakili advanced to Thursday's quarterfinals with Pool A victories Wednesday over two Iranian rivals. After posting a 2-1 (21-16, 18-21, 15-11) win in 63 minutes over 16th-seeded qualifiers Peiman Dargahi/Vahid Nikoufar 2-1 (21-16, 18-21, 15-11), Salemi and Vakili defeated ninth-seeded qualifiers Kalteh Kambiz/Rasoul Yamrali 2-1 (19-21, 21-16, 15-10) in 53 minutes.
Salemi and Vakili posted four-straight wins at the inaugural Bandar Torkaman event in October 2018. The Iranian duo now has a 23-15 match record in their 11-plus tournament appearances on the FIVB World Tour. Two of the defeats were at the 2019 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Germany where Salemi and Vakili competed in the same pool with pairs that reached the Hamburg semifinals - Julius Thole/Clemens Wickler of Germany and Tri Bourne/Trevor Crabb of the United States.
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Also posting group titles with two wins each on Wednesday were third-seeded Nuttanon Inkiew/Sedtawat Padsawud of Thailand, and the Iranian pairs of 10th-seeded qualifiers Bahman Gholipoury/Aghamohammad Salagh and 12th-seeded Alireza Aghajani/Javad Firouzpourbandpei of Iran.
After defeating seventh-seeded qualifiers Peter Lundgren/Jakob Wijk Tegenrot of Sweden 2-0 (25-23, 22-20) in a 49-minute Pool B match, Gholipoury and Salagh upset second-seeded compatriots Abolhamed Mirzaali/Rahman Raoufi 2-0 (23-21, 23-21) in 44 minutes. Mirzaali and Raoufi finished second in the inaugural Bandar Torkaman event in 2018.
Following two rounds of 12-team elimination bracket play on Thursday, the Bandar Torkaman semifinals and medal matches will be played on Friday.