Xiamen, China, April 28, 2019 – A special birthday gift for Russia’s Viacheslav Krasilnikov with a final win to take top honours alongside partner Oleg Stoyanovskiy at the 2019 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Xiamen Open.

Krasilnikov turns 28 in Xiamen and takes home an extra gift after the unstoppable Russians earned a convincing win over Spain’s Pablo Herrera Allepuz and Adrián Gavira Collado, 2-0 (21-19, 21-13).

“This is a special gift on this special day. I have to thank all the team behind us, our coach, physio, doctor and everyone for helping us so much in this big success,” said Krasilinokov.

Russia put the service pressure on Herrera/Gavira from the word go, but the Spanish team had also brought their best game on court and the scores remained even in the first set.

With Stoyanovskiy standing 205cm at the net and Krasilnikov almost impenetrable in defence, two side-outs from Stoyankovskiy took the Russians one set ahead in the final.

In the second set the Russian pressure was relentless. Even with Herrera and Gavira putting in their fair share of big hits, they were just unable to make an impression on Stoyankovskiy/Krasilnikov and the Russians take their second gold as a team after The Hague this year.

“It was a tough match because other days it was cloudy and today is sunny and really hot. I have to say a big thanks to my partner who played really well today,” said Stoyanovskiy.

One year previously in Xiamen, Stoyanovskiy and Krasilnikov were on opposite sides of the net in the gold medal match with Stoyanovskiy winning alongside former partner Igor Velichko. Stoyanovskiy and Krasilnikov teamed up at the end of 2018 and are proving to be a formidable force together.

“When we played separately we played very well. There was a moment when we sat together and we thought, ok, you are a good defender, I am a good blocker, let’s play together and let’s see what we can do,” said Stoyanovskiy.

“We have had amazing results together, we have had five tournaments and four medals, four finals,” said Stoyanovskiy.

Stoyanovskiy/Krasilinokov’s next FIVB World Tour appearance will be back in China at the Jinjiang 4-Star in next month.

The silver for Herrera/Gavira is their second medal of the year after taking bronze in the Doha 4-Star last month. The Spanish team also had an impressive run in Xiamen and were the ones to knock-out number one seeds, Norway’s Anders Mol and Christian Sørum.

Cherif Younousse and Ahmed Tijan from Qatar take home the bronze medal after turning around the match against Italy’s Enrico Rossi and Adrian Ignacio Carambula Raurich, 2-1 (13-21, 21-15, 15-10).

Italy were visibly in control of the first set taking an early five point lead and pulling away after a number of costly Qatari errors. The second set was a different story and a run of big blocks from Cherif pushed Qatar ahead 15-8 and sent the match into the tie-break.

In the third Cherif/Ahmed came out powerfully and took back control of the match and earn their third FIVB bronze medal.

“Thank goodness we finished the game, it was tough in the beginning, but we managed to come back in the second and third, but it wasn’t easy. Especially with this weather and the condition. It was a tough game against them and we were feeling a little bit tired from yesterday. But we were so focused on the third place so that helped us to come back after the first set,” said Cherif.

“We just focused because it’s not easy with this kind of sky-ball, it’s very hard with the wind, you have to concentrate a lot. But fortunately we could receive the balls. They are such a good team, but we gave 100% and got the results and getting this bronze medal is so good for us,” said Ahmed.

The FIVB World Tour returns to China with the Jinjiang 4-Star next month, from 21 to 26 May.

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