Hangzhou, 26 September 2023 - On a day of mixed fortunes, Qatar’s beach volleyball pair of Ahmed Tijan & Cherif Younousse cruised into the semi-finals but the volleyball team’s gold medal hopes were cut short ruthlessly by Iran at the Hangzhou Asian Games.
Tijan and Younousse, the defending champions and bronze medalists at the Tokyo Olympics, had a comfortable 21-17, 21-9 win over Iran’s Bahman Salemi and Sina Shoukati 21-17, 21-19 at Ningbo Banbianshan Beach Volleyball Centre in the quarter-finals.
The Qatari duo will meet Kazakhstan’s Sergey Bogatu and Dmitriy Yakovlev in the semi-finals on Tuesday.
But Qatar’s spikers were in for a rude awakening as the two-time defending champions Iran swept past them 3-0 (25-20, 25-20 and 25-22) at the Linping Sports Centre.
Iran’s Amirhossein Esfandiar had 14 kills, two blocks and three aces to top the scoring chart with 19 points. Iran reaped 41 points from attacking, compared to 32 for Qatar. Iran, who will meet China in the final, also led in aces at six to Qatar’s one.
FIVB Challenger Cup silver medallists Qatar still will have a shot at a medal though as they face off against World No. 3 Japan in the bronze medal play off. The second string Japan side slumped to a straight-sets loss to China 25-15, 25-20, 25-21.