Norwegian duo lead way into Qatar main draw


Doha, Qatar, April 4, 2016 (FIVB) – Morten Kvamsdal and Christian Sandlie Sorum carried on their development as a team when they won two from two on the opening day of the Qatar Open on Monday at Al Gharafa Sports Club.

The Norwegian pair began with a 2-1 (21-19, 12-21, 15-6) win over Estonia’s Kusti Nolvak and Mart Tiisaar and then followed up by defeating Austrian pair Peter Eglseer and Daniel Mullner 2-0 (21-19, 21-18) that books them a place in the main draw that starts on Tuesday.

“We didn’t play our best volleyball in the first match and only just won,” Kvamsdal said. “In the second we were talking about how it would be nice just to take it home and we did.

“Now it is about enjoying this, as everything beyond this is a bonus.”

The pair are playing in only their fourth FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour tournament together, having first teamed up at the Antalya Open in 2015.

At 26 Kvamsdal is the senior partner and has featured on the World Tour since 2010. Twenty-year-old Sorum enjoyed a solid age-group career before joining the World Tour last year and made his debut at the Stavanger Masters Series event, alongside Runar Torsvik Sannarnes.

Kvamsdal and Sorum are hoping to feature in the Norwegian-port city later in 2016, when it hosts the European leg of the Continental Cup from June 22-26.

“We qualified in Kish as well and we played four tournaments together and have qualified in all them,” Kvamsdal said. “Hopefully we will improve this season because the Continental Cup in Stavanger is our main goal and that is what we are playing for.”

Aussie delight

Australian pair Bo Soderberg and Cole Durant also reached the main draw after winning two from two.

They started with a 2-0 (21-9, 21-15) victory over Kazakhstan’s Artem Petrossyants and Yegor Dmitriyev and then completed qualification by defeating Hasan Huseyin Mermer and Sefa Urlu of Turkey 2-1 (21-13, 13-21, 15-12).

“The first match was against a team that are young and up and coming and they have a good fighting spirit, but we controlled the match all the way,” Soderberg said.

“The second game was a bit different, have been playing for a few years and have a good coach that we know well and who knows us well, so that was a bit tougher. We came out strong at the beginning, but at the end we decided to leave everything out there.”

The Qatar Open is the second and last tournament for men only on the 2016 portion of the 2015-2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. It is the third straight year that Qatar has hosted a FIVB World Tour event in Doha and it runs from April 4-8 when the medal matches take place.

The event continues the Road to Rio that lasts until June 13, 2016 with FIVB World Tour events counting towards the Olympic Ranking in order to determine 15 of 24 spots for each gender that will take part in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The next World Tour tournament is the Xiamen Open in China, which takes place from April 12-17.