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08/09/2012 16:00
Pre-favorite duos cruise to second round of Russian Championship finals
News from the National Federations

Anapa, Russia, September 8, 2012. The final stage of the Russian Beach Volleyball Championship started yesterday in Vityazevo, Krasnodar Region, with the Pool play – which makes a total of three matches per duo – completed right on the opening day. The winners of the various preliminary groups advanced directly to the second round, the second and third-ranked got to the first round of the Main Draw while the fourth ranked were eliminated from the competition.
It was quite hot in Anapa on Friday but all teams could stand the demanding test of playing three matches. The four teams eliminated from the women’s competition are Motrich/Abdullina, Vasina/Ptitsyna, Karapischenko/Makroguzova and Yakovleva/Strugova, all ranked 13th and going home with a check of 500 $.
Natalia Stepanova/Zhuditt Yalovaya of the “VC Obninsk” quite surprisingly finished first in their Pool after edging Alova/Markova and Demirchova/Abalakina; in the remaining Pools no real surprise were registered with all favorite teams finishing first, namely Khomyakova/Vozakova, Popova/Prokopieva and Ukolova/Hansel, thereby advancing directly to the second round.
“I am playing with the third different partner in three weeks” said Ukolova. “I played with Giulia Momoli at the EEVZA finals in Zelenogradsk, with Khomyakova at the World Tour stop in Aland and here with Hansel. It is obviously difficult because we practiced together only once before the tournament and we have to find the right team work during the matches. It was not easy at all to play three matches in one day but to finish first is good news as we move directly to the second round of the Main Draw. I want to finish the domestic season with a good result and take a medal here in Anapa, possibly gold”.

In the men’s competition the four duos eliminated from the tournament are Novoselov and Stoyanovskiy, Kiriyenko/Uraykin, plus Chirkin/Mavrin and Bolgov/Kucherenko.
The winners of the Pool play are Konstantin Semenov/Sergei Prokopiev, the tandem composed by Olympic bronze medalist Martins Plavins and Yuri Bogatov, plus Barsouk/Khudyakov and Likholetov/Yutvalin. The pre-favorites did not have any problems in the prelims with the only exception being Semenov/Prokopiev who bested only at the tie-break Bykanov/Krasilnikov from Saint Petersburg with the score of 17-15.

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