Tokyo, 26 JuLy 2021 - Qatar’s Cherif Younousse and Ahmed Tijan kick-started their Tokyo Olympics beach volleyball campaign on a winning note on Sunday. At the Shiokaze Park, the third seeded Qatari pair defeated Switzerland’s Adrian Heidrich and Mirco Gerson 21-17, 21-16 in their opening Pool C match.
The Asian Games champions Cherif and Tijan, who came into the Tokyo Games on the back of a runner-up finish in the FIVB four-star tournament in Gstaad two weeks ago, combined well to clear the first hurdle. It was a tough start for the Qatari duo as the Swiss pair kept them on their toes and stopped them from taking a big lead initially. With the help of Tijan’s well-placed serves the Qatar pair took a two-point lead at 9-7 and after that they were in their elements and controlled the game to win the first set at 21-17.
Heidrich and Gerson came strongly in the second set, but after early hiccups, Younousse and Tijan put up a strong show. Younousse’s solid play at the net and Ahmed’s fine returns proved pivotal and they won the set and match at 21-16.
In their next match on Wednesday, Younousse and Tijan will take on Italy’s Adrian Carambula and Enrico Rossi who suffered a 2-0 (21-18, 21-19) defeat at the hands of USA’s Jake Gibb and Tri Bourne.