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Doha returns to World Tour schedule with two events

 

For the fourth-straight season and eighth overall, Qatar will host the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour as the capital city of Doha prepares for the first two international beach volleyball events on the 2021 calendar.

Read more: FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour set to return to Doha

The first of two events in Doha is scheduled for February 22-26 for a men's-only 1-star tournament followed by the double-gender 4-star Katara Beach Volleyball Cup from March 8-12.

For the second time only, a women's event will be staged on the Arabian Peninsula with the first being in October 2008 at Dubai when Nicole Branagh and Kerri Walsh Jennings defeated Jennifer Kessy and April Ross in the all-American final.

American medal winners at the 2008 Dubai Open are (left to right) Nicole Branagh, April Ross, Jen Kessy and Kerri Walsh Jennings


Men's teams from 14 countries have captured medals at the previous seven events in the country. Polish pairs have won the last two tournaments highlighted by Michal Bryl and Grzegorz Fijalek's podium-topping performance last March defeating Mexican youngsters Josue Gaxiola and Jose Rubio in the final of the 2020 Katara Beach Volleyball Cup.


Four months earlier in November 2019, Jedrzej Brozyniak and Piotr Janiak of Poland defeated Petr Bakhnar and Yury Bogatov of Russia in the gold medal match at the Doha Open with Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic champions David Ahman and Jonatan Hellvig placing third.

Prior to Brozyniak and Janiak’s win, four teams that participated in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games captured gold medals in Doha led by bronze medal winners Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands, who defeated Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Igor Velichko of Russia in the March 2018 final.

Other Rio Olympians winning Doha gold were Germans Markus Bockermann/Lars Fluggen (November 2015), Italians Adrian Carambula/Alex Ranghieri (April 2016) and the Grimalt cousins (Esteban and Marco) of Chile (March 2019).

2019 Doha gold medal winners Marco Grimalt (left) and Esteban Grimalt of Chile

Poland’s Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak and Turkey’s Murat Giginoglu/Volkan Gogtepe have each competed in five of the previous Doha events. American Olympians Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena have competed in three Qatari semifinals in four Doha appearances (2016, 2018 and 2019) along with a fifth at the March 2020 event.

Bartosz Losiak (left) and Piotr Kantor of Poland celebrate 2016 Doha bronze medal finish

Teams from the host country will be seeking their second podium placement in Doha. Qatari Olympians Cherif Samba and Ahmed Tijan placed third in March 2018 by defeating Dalhausser and Lucena in the bronze medal match.

2018 Doha bronze medal winners Ahmed Tijan (left) and Cherif Samba of Qatar

Overall, Qatar has captured six men's FIVB World Tour medals with one gold, two silvers and three bronzes by Samba and Tijan. Samba and Jefferson Pereira won a gold medal at the February 2016 Iranian stop on Kish Island by defeating Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic champions Stoyanovskiy and Artem Yarzutkin in the finals.

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