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Younousse & Tijan save four set points to secure knockouts spot

Younousse & Tijan save four set points to secure knockouts spot

Agencies
Tokyo
Qatar’s beach volleyball stars Cherif Younousse and Ahmed Tijan secured their spot in the knockout stages of the men’s Olympic beach volleyball at the Shiokaze Park by putting their hands on the top two places in the Pool C standings as they defeated Italy’s Adrian Carambula and Enrico Rossi in straight sets on Wednesday.
Also progressing were USA’s Jake Gibb and Tri Bourne.
The new FIVB World Ranking leaders, Cherif and Ahmed, were trailing Carambula and Rossi for the better part of the first set in the match between the two teams, but in the end they managed to deny four opponent set points before snatching the set deep into overtime.
With the momentum on their side, the Qataris had complete control of the second set to cruise on to a 2-0 (24-22, 21-13) victory.
“The match was great! It was a little bit tough in the first set and we almost lost it. But we kept on fighting until the end, until we were able to take over. The second set was normal and the victory came to us,” Ahmed told Volleyball World.
“Now we will focus on finishing top of the pool and then the real fight starts,” said Cherif.
To finish on top of the pool, the Qatari pair will have to overcome the resistance of Gibb and Bourne, who also enjoy a 2-0 win-loss record before the third leg.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Americans claimed a hard-fought 2-0 (21-19, 23-21) victory over Switzerland’s Adrian Heidrich and Mirco Gerson. The Swiss and the Italians will have to fight it out for the third place in the pool.
“I would give us a B minus,” Gibb said after their match.
“I think we’re both playing good volleyball and hopefully we start gelling a little bit more.
“But we’re increasing. That went from a C plus to a B minus. It’s a slow increase and, you know what, it’s a slow climb. But I think we’re getting better.”
In a direct duel for the first place in Pool A, Ilya Leshukov and Konstantin Semenov of ROC stunned Norwegian standouts Anders Mol and Christian Sorum with a 2-0 (21-19, 21-19) clean slate, after both teams had already made it to the Round of 16.
Earlier in the day, Spain’s Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira claimed their first win in the pool.
In a survival battle for the third place in the standings, the well-seasoned Spaniards mastered a 2-0 (21-16, 21-16) victory over Australia’s Christopher McHugh and Damien Schumann, pushing the Aussies out of contention.
“Of course, we felt pressure because if we lost, we would be out. But we also just wanted to enjoy the match and I think we put on a full fight,” said Gavira.
“We have been training a lot, but we lived through a lot of bad moments this year with the coronavirus and other things, so we just wanted to enjoy it and I think we did it.”

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