30/08/2014 19:32
Two Latvian pairs move on straight to semis at Jurmala Satellite
2014 CEV Beach Volleyball Satellites - Jurmala

Jurmala, Latvia, August 30, 2014. The start of the main draw at the inaugural CEV Satellite tournament in Jurmala provided the audience with a series of closely contested and exciting matches and also with much to cheer about since the home teams performed really strong on the next-to-last day of competition on Majori beach in Latvia’s most popular seaside resort.

The programme on Saturday got started with an all-Latvian affair starring 2013 and 2014 European silver medallists Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins and their young compatriots Edgars Tocs and Rihards Finsters, the leaders of this summer’s Latvian Beach Volleyball Championship. Even though the match started very early in the morning, the fans flocked to the 2,000-seat stadium to cheer on their heroes. Samoilovs and Smedins eventually edged their countrymen in three sets (15-8, 15-7, 15-13). “Maybe it’s because the match started so early but we found it difficult to find our rhythm,” commented Edgars Tocs after the match. “We only played a good third set where we barely missed on taking it home. Our opponents were good, they realised where we were making mistakes and exploited our weaknesses right from the start. Though we lost, the atmosphere in such large stadium was just fantastic.”

After a couple of rainy days, the players were treated well on Saturday as the sun shone right from the early morning in Jurmala and CEV President André Meyer paid a visit to the venue. After losing two matches in a row, four teams – Russia’s Sergei Prokopiev/Grigory Goncharov, Israel’s Sean Faiga/Ariel Hilman, Estonia’s Kristo Kollo/Rivo Vesik and France’s Youssef Krou/Edouard Rowlandson – have already ended their campaign settling for 13th place.

After losing in the losers’ bracket, another four teams had to settle for 9th place; these are Austria’s Peter Eglseer/Felix Koraimann and Daniel Müllner/Jörg Wutzl, Russia’s vice champions Ruslan Dayanov and Alexander Likholetov and Latvia’s Edgars Tocs/Rihards Finsters.

In the third round Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins got to play Turkey’s Murat Giginoglu and Volkan Gögtepe. Giginoglu is well-known in Latvia since he has played with Martins Plavins in the Turkish Beach Volleyball circuit making the podium a few times there together with the bronze medal winner from the 2012 London Olympics. However, Samoilovs and Smedins made an easy work of their opponents from Turkey cruising to a 15-12, 18-16, 20-18 victory to move on straight to the semi-finals. Another Latvian pair has reached the semis as the former medalists of the CEV U20 Beach Volleyball European Championship, Haralds Regza and Armands Abolins (see picture), edged past France’s Jean-Baptiste Daguerre and Yannick Salvetti by 3:1 (17-19, 15-12, 15-9, 15-8).

Salvetti could nevertheless take some positives from the experience: “It is my first time in Latvia and the country has left a great impression on me. There was a very good atmosphere in the stadium, really impressive,” he said.

The matches on schedule on Saturday attracted already a large crowd and there is much excitement and anticipation for the final day of competition on Sunday where the tournament will reach its climax and a large audience is expected to make it to the venue of the Satellite. The actions will get started with the last matches on schedule for the losers’ bracket to determine the remaining semi-finalists, with the Latvian fans hoping that Martins Plavins and Aleksandrs Solovejs will also make it to the top four of this historic happening.

The matches are available on the mobile website; all matches up to the semis played on the centre court are also available on TV. The semi-final and final matches will be broadcast live on TV6.

Click here for more information or visit the official website

News nr. 3 of 11
31/08/2014 18:30:00
Samoilovs and Smedins claim all-Latvian final to delight record crowd
29/08/2014 17:07:00
Latvia’s youngsters continue to impress on home sand

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