XUE/WANG, NICOLAI/LUPO BOOK NEXT ROUND SPOTS IN TOKYO

XUE/WANG, NICOLAI/LUPO BOOK NEXT ROUND SPOTS IN TOKYO

Makroguzova & Kholomina, Evandro & Bruno, Cherif & Ahmed top their pools unbeaten

Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo grabbed the tenth available spot in the Round of 16 at the Tokyo 2020 men’s Olympic beach volleyball tournament, after finishing top of their pool unbeaten. China’s Chen Xue and Xinxin Wang booked their spot in the next stage of the women’s tournament by finishing second in their pool.

Italy’s Nicolai and Lupo, silver medallists from the previous Olympics, managed to overcome the resistance of Poland’s Piotr Kantor and Bartosz Losiak on the way to a 2-1 (21-19, 17-21, 15-10) victory, their third since the start of the competition. Finishing their Pool F campaign on a perfect 3-0 win-loss record, they secured the first place in the final pool standings even before the last match in the pool, between Germany’s Julius Thole and Clemens Wickler and Japan’s Yusuke ‘Gottsu’ Ishijima and Katsuhiro Shiratori on Saturday. However, Kantor and Losiak, on 1-2, will have to wait for the outcome of that game to find out their fate.

After USA’s April Ross and Alix Klineman mastered a 2-1 (20-22, 21-17, 15-5) comeback against Sanne Keizer and Madelein Meppelink topping their pool undefeated and eliminating the winless Dutch pair from the competition on Friday morning, the afternoon’s fixture between Xue and Wang and Spain’s Liliana Fernаndez and Elsa Baquerizo turned into a direct battle for the runner-up position in Pool B. The Chinese pair completely dominated to hammer out an emphatic 2-0 (21-13, 21-10) victory and advance to the knockout stage. Liliana and Elsa move on to the lucky-loser playoffs.

Also on Friday, Brazil’s Evandro Goncalves and Bruno Schmidt and Qatar’s Cherif Younousse and Ahmed Tijan, on the men’s side, and ROC’s Nadezda Makroguzova and Svetlana Kholomina, on the women’s side, all of whom had already qualified for the Round of 16, won their pools by claiming their third consecutive victories at Shiokaze Park.

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