FRENCH PAIR LEAD WAY INTO DOHA MAIN DRAW

FRENCH PAIR LEAD WAY INTO DOHA MAIN DRAW

Aye (left) and Gauthier-Rat are into the Doha 4-Star main draw

Doha, Qatar, March 9, 2020 – Quincy Aye and Arnaud Gauthier-Rat were one of eight teams who reached the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour 4-Star Katara Open main draw on Monday when they defeated Japan’s Nobuaki Taira and Ryota Sato 2-0 (21-14, 21-12).

It means they will take their place in the main draw when the tournament runs from March 9-13 and is taking place at Katara Cultural Village in Qatar’s capital Doha.

“It was a good two zero, but we had to be careful of them because they both have really good technique and can play well,” Aye said. “We had to play our game and stay focused and that is what we did.”

Aye and Gauthier-Rat last featured on the World Tour at the Chetumal 4-Star in November where they finished ninth.

Since then they have been away from their Toulouse base for warm weather training which allowed them to start their first tournament of 2020 in fine form.

“We had a training camp in Tenerife and then one in Brazil,” Aye said. “It was great to practice there because of the weather there and the conditions for us.”

Lombardo Ontiveros and Juan Virgen will be one of the teams that join them in the main draw after they saw off Gambia’s Sainey Jawo and Mbye Babou Jarra 2-0 (21-10, 21-18).

In 2016 the Mexican pair reached the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games knockout rounds and they will be aiming to use their performance in Doha as a springboard to Tokyo 2020.

“It was a good win, it’s always a good win when you get into the main draw,” Ontiveros said. “The wind  made it tough and the Gambia guys tried to squeeze us in the second set.

“They are really tall, and they jump so high and hit the ball so hard. So, we had to be careful because the wind made the match more balanced.”

The men-only tournament will run from March 9-13 at Katara Cultural Village in the north of the city. It is the second of 11 4-Star events on the 2019-2020 calendar and the winners will leave with 800 ranking points.

Qatar has built up a strong tradition of hosting World Tour events since it hosted its first in 2014. Two more followed in 2015 and 2016, then in 2018 the tournament grew from a 3-Star tournament to a 4-Star tournament.

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