Road to Buenos Aires starts in Moscow for bunch of Europe’s rising Beach Volleyball stars

Saturday 3rd of June 2017
Moscow, Russia, June 3, 2017. The journey taking Europe’s most promising Beach Volleyball players to the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires started on Saturday in Moscow – with one qualifying event on schedule for the CEV Youth Beach Volleyball Continental Cup running in conjunction with an FIVB World Tour tournament in the Russian capital.

Back in 2013 the Vodniy Stadium at the Dinamo Beach Sports Centre played host to a similar event – and Russia’s Oleg Stoyanovskiy/Artem Yarzutkin emerged victorious before in 2014 they won gold at the Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China. Stoyanovskiy and Yarzutkin have since become a force to reckon with also at the senior level and made it to the semis of the Moscow World Tour event this weekend.

Five women’s and four men’s teams are competing in Moscow in a single round robin with the eventual winners progressing straight to the final stage of the Youth Continental Cup – whereas the second and third placed will have one extra call to make it there. 

Each of the four men’s teams played two matches on Saturday with Russia and Greece recording two wins apiece. As a result, Russia’s Denis Shekunov/Pavel Shustrov (pictured) and Greece’s Stefanos Mandilaris/Haralampos Andreopoulos will be playing for first place on Sunday and for a ticket to next year’s Youth Continental Cup Final. Teams from Finland and Monaco will fight for third place and the opportunity to stay alive in the competition. 

“Playing at the Olympic Games is everyone’s dream, even though we are competing for a spot at the Youth Olympics. It’s great to start chasing this dream on your home sand. While everything has been going well so far, we will try to get rid of any unnecessary pressure and nervousness and make it to the Final straight from this tournament,” Shekunov said at the end of the first competition day.

Teams from Russia and Greece have a perfect record in the women’s competition as well. Maria Voronina/Mariia Bocharova and Dionysia Matiou/Maria Klepkou did not drop a single set in the matches they contested on Saturday. Finland’s Aliisa Vuorinen/Nea Kilpinen won two out of three and are still in contention for the top spot in the pool. 

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