Posted on October 13, 2017

Qatar's beach volleyball stars and second seeds Pereira Jefferson Santos and Cherif Younousse joined Koekelkoren / Walle in the men's top 16 after ousting Austria's Florian Schnetzer and Daniel Mullner 2-0 (21-15, 21-14) at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Qinzhou Open.

The Qatar B team of Julio Cesar and Tijan Ahmed also made it through after straight sets victory over Japanese duo Shimizu and Tsichiya. A few days ago, Qatar 2 team won the Grand Front Osaka Open in beach volleyball, which was held in Japan over four days. The Qatari duo of Ahmed Tijan and Julio Cesar won the title after beating Indonesia 2-0 (21-15 and 21-19). Qatar's beach volleyball team are 12th in the world ranking after the A team qualified for the round of 16 in the recent world championship in Austria and lost to the host nation. The A team, comprising Younousse and Jefferson Pereira, played strong and competitive matches during the tournament and managed 480 points.

Top seeds Dries Koekelkoren and Tom van Walle of Belgium held off Americans Edwin Burik Mark and William Kolinske 32-30 in the first set on the way to a 2-0 victory. Koekelkoren / Walle squandered a five-point lead before clinching the opening set in the first round of the single elimination tournament. "(We survived) by fighting hard and working hard," said van Walle."I think we started well, but then at 16-11 we made some mistakes and they made some good blocks, and then we brought ourselves into trouble. You see those guys can also play very well and we made our lives difficult. But in the end, we were able to get it done as a team."

The hot weather in Qinzhou was also quite a challenge for the Belgians."I think we were trying to play aggressively, with good mentality and fighting spirit. But with this heat, it's really hard to keep the level of aggressivity high. It's a pity about the late part in the first set, but we stayed tough and won the first set. If we have to play three sets in these circumstances, it will be really hard."