25/08/2016 22:00
#EuroBeachVolleyU22 starts on a high note in Greece
2016 CEV U22 Beach Volleyball European Championship

Thessaloniki, Greece, August 25, 2016. The opening day of the CEV U22 Beach Volleyball European Championship was more than promising at the village of Kardia, just outside Greece’s metropolis of the north, where the tournament got underway on Thursday.

Despite the high temperatures, quite a few fans were present at Avant Garde Sports Club and enjoyed a marathon session of top-quality Beach Volleyball, lasting for more than 12 hours in a row, across three different courts.

The U22 European Championship’s premiere was especially sweet for the Greek teams, who ended Day 1 with very good results.

In the women’s competition, top-seeded Dimitra Manavi/Ioanna Parisaki got two wins in a row, thus securing a place in the knock-out phase. On Friday they will face Ida Sinisalo/Niina Ahtiainen from Finland, who have also won both their matches, with the top spot of Pool A and the direct qualification to the Round of 16 at stake.

Meanwhile, newly-paired Tatiana Moldovanidi/Aliki Spiliotopoulou had one victory and one defeat on the opening day, which saw them start on the wrong foot as they lost to the powerful Swiss team Nicole Eiholzer/Dunja Gerson (the first one won the European title last year, yet with another teammate, Nina Betschart) before edging the Norwegian duo Sunniva Helland-Hansen/Live Lunde later in the day.

On the other hand, youngsters Maria Klepkou/Paraskevi Kourtidou lost both their matches and are yet to enjoy their first win, which would send them to the knock-out phase.

In the men’s division, the Mandilaris brothers beat Armenians Ashot Balabekyan/Razmik Hakobyan in straight sets, but Rafail Baniotis/Georgios Terzoglou were those who delivered the sensation of the day, as they edged Poland’s strong duo Mateusz Lysikowski/Mateusz Paszkowski thanks to their blocking abilities and despite the fact that it was their debut as a pair. Contrary to the other Greek teams, Vasileios Zisis/Iason Kanellos couldn’t upset Austria’s Moritz Pristauz-Telsnigg/Maximilian Trummer, who have come to Thessaloniki as possible medal contenders.

2015 bronze medallists Igor Velichko/Maxim Sivolap from Russia beat Moldova’s Eugeniu Popadiuc/Fiodor Majarov 2-0, while Norwegian sensation Anders Berntsen Mol/Christian Sandlie Sørum also started their campaign victoriously.

On Friday, the last pool matches will be played at Avant Garde Sports Club, starting at 08:30 local time once again and carrying on until late in the evening. The knock-out phase will start on Saturday and the finals are scheduled for Sunday.

Click here for further information including detailed results

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