06/07/2018 20:18
Russian women’s teams dominate pool play at 1-Star event in Anapa
2018 CEV Beach Volleyball Satellite - Anapa

Anapa, Russia, July 6, 2018. The 16-team Main Draw of the 1-Star event in Anapa started on Friday, with teams competing in four pools of four teams each. The competition features players from as many as 15 countries, including many that last week participated in the 2018 edition of the CEV U20 European Beach Volleyball Championship held at the very same venue in southern Russia. As many as five men’s and eight women’s teams are carrying the Russian hopes of home success – however, newly crowned U20 European champions Dmitrii Veretiuk and Denis Shekunov did not make it through the qualification round contested on Thursday.

In the women’s competition, four Russian tandems emerged as the winners of their respective pools. Nadezda Makroguzova/Svetlana Kholomina, Ksenia Dabizha/Yulia Abalakina, Ekaterina Birlova/Evgenia Ukolova and Daria Mastikova/Anastasia Petrunina progressed straight to the quarterfinals. Reigning U22 European champions Makroguzova and Kholomina claimed a very interesting match with Switzerland’s Esmée Böbner and Zoé Vergé-Dépré (21-15, 21-14) to secure first place in Pool A. In that same group, Martina Maixnerova and Marie-Sara Stochlova of Czech Republic left no chance to Belgium’s Janne Devos/Fleur Baens (21-15, 21-7) to stay in the competition.

Svetlana Kholomina said that their aim was to finish first in the pool: “We hope to show our best here. Tomorrow we will most probably play against another Russian team but for us this is not so important. We will try to achieve our goals in this tournament.”

In Pool B, Dabizha and Abalakina (pictured above) beat Karolina Rehackova and Michaela Knoblochova of Czech Republic 21-14, 21-10 to claim the top spot in the group. “I am happy that we could win two matches in a row,” Abalakina said. “It was not easy for us because the weather was really challenging. We are anxiously waiting for the next matches to show what we are capable of there.”

Ekaterina Syrtseva trying to spike past the block of Ekaterina Birlova in an all-Russian affair

2015 European Championship silver medallists Birlova and Ukolova finished first in Pool C, with their compatriots Ekaterina Syrtseva and Anastasia Barsuk settling for second place. Anastasiia Frolova and Aleksandra Ganenko of Russia stayed alive in the competition as well after beating Bakhtygul Samalikova and Anastassiya Ukolova of Kazakhstan 21-11, 21-9.

Chinese tandems reign supreme in men’s tournament

In the men’s tournament, top seeds Ruslan Bykanov and Maksim Hudyakov of Russia claimed the top spot of their pool even though they dropped a set in their matchup with Marcel Myslivecek and Martin Pihera of Czech Republic. Sergey Gorbenko and Alexander Likholetov fought with their rivals from Kazakhstan for third place in Pool C in order to continue their journey and the Russians eventually beat Alexey Kuleshov and Alexandr Babichev 14-21, 21-19, 15-8.

“We lost our first match because Sergey and I started playing together only four days ago,” Likholetov commented. “However, we found a much better chemistry in the second match and we eventually won. Our main goal was to make it to the next stage of the tournament and I am confident that tomorrow we will be playing better than we did today.”

Li Zhuoxin and partner Zhou Chaowei were one of three Chinese teams to finish pool play in first place

In Pool C, China’s Ha Likejiang and Wu Jiaxin fought for first place with Brazil’s Marcio Gaudie/Arthur Mariano Lanci and the Chinese side eventually prevailed 23-21, 21-12. “We played with them in Singapore and we lost. However, today we left no chance to them as we were extremely motivated to win this match.”

Another Chinese team, Peng Gao and Yang Li claimed first place in Pool B after a 2-1 victory (18-21, 21-16, 15-12) over Japan’s Katsuhiro Shiratori and Takashi Tsuchiya. China claimed the top spot in Pool D as well after Li Zhuoxin and Zhou Chaowei beat Russia’s Pavel Shustrov and Danila Ivanov (18-21, 21-15, 15-12). “We won today but our wish is to improve our performance with every game,” Li Zhuoxin said.

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News nr. 3 of 4
07/07/2018 20:12:00
Russian women and Chinese men impress at 1-Star Anapa Satellite
05/07/2018 15:54:00
1-Star event underway in Anapa

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