Jefferson Pereira and Cherif Younousse will aiming to show their home fans why they are enjoying a growing reputation on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour when the Qatar Open takes place from April 4 – 8.
The pair won their first FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour gold medals at the Kish Island Open in February after first serving notice of their potential when they reached the quarter-finals of the Netherlands 2015 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships.
“It’s a big year for us and we’re keen to garner as many points as possible,” Pereira said. “I’m really optimistic as we’ve had some great results against strong opponents this season.”
The two previous Qatar Opens were won by German teams – Tim Holler and Jonas Schroder in 2014 and Markus Bockermann and Lars Fluggen in 2015 – and Bockermann and Fluggen will be back to defend their gold that they won in November 2015 in the earlier portion of the 2015-16 World Tour calendar.
Bockermann and Fluggen will face stiff competition to defend their title though. The USA will be represented by Jacob Gibb and Casey Patterson, who are ranked fifth in the FIVB Olympic Rankings and 2015 silver medallists Ty Bourne and John Hyden.
Bartosz Losiak and Piotr Kantor will be confident mood after they won their first World Tour golds at the Rio de Janeiro Grand Slam. The pair won FIVB World Championships gold at U19, U21 and U23 and gold in Rio served noticed that they are beginning to fulfil their potential.
Italy also send two strong pairs; Alex Ranghieri and Adrian Carambula showed that they are approaching their best by finishing fourth at the Vitoria Open.
London 2012 Olympians Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo will be fighting hard for Olympic points to ensure they take part at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games and served notice that they are nearing their top form by winning silver at the Vitoria Open at the end of March.
“A shame about the final, but we’re heading back to Italy with a silver,” Lupo wrote on his Facebook page. “Next stop Qatar.”