Kish Island, Iran, February 21, 2018 – Qatar’s Cherif Younousse is in Kish Island for the third time and he has great memories of the place where he won his first FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour gold medal.
Cherif and then partner Jefferson Santos completed a golden run in the inaugural Kish Island Open in 2016, beating Russia’s Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Artem Yarzutkin in the final.
“The first time I was here at Kish Island, we didn’t lose any matches in the main draw until the finals,” Cherif said. “It was really something special for me. The tournament here is very competitive, but at the same time, it gives each team a good chance to win.
“The experience was unbelievable. I remember we came to Kish Island just to participate and try to improve on our game, but we went all the way to the finals. Everything that happened was unexpected. It was only when we reached the semifinals that we thought we could do it all the way. We really had fun when we won.”
The year 2016 was indeed a golden year for Cherif and his Kish Island victory served as a platform to even bigger achievements. Cherif made it to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and finished ninth place overall.
“Rio 2016 was the best tournament I’ve ever played in my life until now. I will never forget the feeling and experience. It was also a great motivation for the other players to keep on participating, do their best until they reached the Olympics.”
In 2017, Cherif returned to the Kish Island 3-star with Julio Cesar Do Nascimento Junior. The pair made it to the Round of 16 but were eliminated by Russia’s Maxim Sivolap and Igor Velichko.
“I had a different partner last year because my other partner got injured. We still decided to go but we lost in the Round of 16 against Russia.”
In his third consecutive participation in the Kish Island event, Cherif is constantly reminded of the significance of this place in his career as a beach volleyball athlete.
“This is my third time here in Kish Island so this place is very important for me because this is where it all started. I am very happy to come back and compete here.”
Cherif is aiming for longevity on the Asian beach volleyball circuit and a second appearance in the Olympic Games.
“We are doing well in Asia and I hope to keep those results coming as long as we can. Our main goal is to make it to the next Olympic Games, we have a lot of chances through the FIVB ranking and the Continental Cup. So I think we have a big chance.”
The talented Qatari evidently has the right attitude, and has a very modest perspective to share with the younger players.
“Just keep working and always be patient. There will be many failures in life but you just have to get up all the time no matter how many times you fall down. That is the process. The most important thing is you have to trust the process and good things will come unexpectedly.”
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