Brazil had a successful opening day at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour 4-star event in Itapema on Wednesday as the host country advanced six teams – two men’s and four women’s – to Thursday’s main draw. After the conclusion of the qualification tournament, the South American nation will have six male and eight female duos in contention at the Meia Praia Beach.
World Tour veterans Oscar Guimaraes and Saymon Barbosa were among the home teams that advanced. They defeated Uruguayans Esteban Bailon and Joaquin Gonzalez 2-0 (21-14, 21-18) in their opening match and secured their spot after another straight-set (21-19, 21-18) victory, this one against the English Bello twins Joaquin and Javier.
“It feels great to play a World Tour event at home again and to have the fans on our side in the most difficult moments,” Oscar commented. “We had a couple of difficult matches, especially against the English twins, who have great ball control and had a good serving strategy against us, but Saymon came up big with his blocking at the end and that was the difference.”
Oscar and Saymon were joined by Rio 2016 Olympian Pedro Solberg and his partner Arthur Lanci, who also won both of their matches without dropping sets. The Brazilians first downed Germans Momme Lorenz and Lui Wust 22-20, 21-12 and then cruised past Argentineans Bautista Amieva and Tomas Capogrosso, winning 21-17, 21-8.
The host country could have qualified two other men’s teams to the main draw but Arthur Mariano/Adrielson Santos lost to Sergiy Popov/Eduard Reznik 2-0 (21-16, 21-17) while Nicolas Capretti/Samuel Oselame fell to Javier Huerta/Oscar Jimenez in three sets (16-21, 21-17, 18-16) and the Ukrainians and Spanish advanced instead.
The four other male teams that moved on to the main draw were Chile’s Noe Aravena/Vicente Droguett, Austria’s Felix Friedl/Maximilian Trummer, Italy’s Davide Benzi/Carlo Bonifazi and USA’s Chase Budinger/Troy Field.
On the women’s qualifier, Brazil won half of the eight spots in play with the duos of Taiana Lima/Hegeile ‘Hege’ Almeida, Victoria Lopes/Taina Bigi, Andressa Cavalcanti/Vitoria Rodrigues and Barbara Seixas/Carolina Salgado all advancing.
Barbara, a Rio 2016 Olympic silver medalist, and Carol moved forward just four days after they won an event of the Brazilian Tour in Itapema on Saturday. They have a familiar meeting with compatriots Josi Alves, an Itapema native, and Carol Goerl and won it in straight sets (21-7, 21-12).
In another meeting that reunited two teams form the same country, Germans Leonie Klinke and Sarah Schneider prevailed over Chenoa Christ and Leonie Kortzinger in two sets (21-17, 23-21). Schneider and Kortzinger were partners for more than two years before they split a few months ago.
“Playing a German team is always difficult as we know each other really well,” the 24-year-old Klinke said. “It will be my first time playing in a main draw of a four-star event and there were a lot of nerves on both sides. It was windier today than it was in practice and that made things a little more difficult for both teams. Serving well was a big difference. We’re happy we won it, but we know we can play better than we did today and hope to do it in the main draw.”
The three remaining main draw spots in Itapema went to France’s Aline Chamereau/Clemence Vieira, Cyprus’ Daria Gusarova/Erika Nystrom and Denmark’s Sofia Bisgaard/Clara Windeleff.
Main draw starts for both genders in Itapema on Thursday. The semifinals will take place on Saturday while the medal matches are scheduled for Sunday.
All matches are streamed live on Beach Volleyball World’s YouTube channel.
FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour - Itapema
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