28/08/2019 23:00
Mixed fortunes for French teams on opening day of Main Draw in Montpellier
2019 FIVB World Tour 1-Star - Montpellier

Montpellier, France, August 28, 2019. The FIVB World Tour 1-Star event in Montpellier continued on Wednesday with the much-anticipated start of the Main Draw. As per the competition format, if teams claim two straight wins in their pool, they move on straight to the quarterfinals. Two losses result in leaving the tournament, one win and one loss in playing the first round of the elimination phase.

The two Thai teams won their opening matches. Nuttanon Inkiew/Sedtawat Padsawud beat French youngsters Arthur Canet/Téo Rotar (14 and 15 years old!), who are making their World Tour debut in Montpellier. Despite their lack of experience at this level, the Frenchmen showed good attitude and skills. Surin Jongklang/Adisorn Khaolumtam, also of Thailand, needed two sets only to beat qualifiers Issa Batrane and Frederick Bialokoz of England.

Two out of three teams representing Austria claimed victories on Wednesday. Moritz Fabian Kindl/Mathias Seiser beat Sven Vismans and Tom van Steenis of the Netherlands with two spectacular points to finish the game. The Dutch qualifiers will have to work hard to stay in the competition.

Arwin Kopschar/Michael Murauer of Austria beat Japan’s Kensuke Shoji/Masato Kurasaka, the recent winners of the Rubavu World Tour event in Rwanda. The qualities of blocker Murauer (193 cm) were instrumental towards securing some important points.

Mathias Seiser of Austria blocking in the match with Vismans/Van Steenis (NED)

The second pair representing Japan in the competition, Koichi Nishimura/Daisuke Shibata, just arrived in Montpellier on Tuesday and lost their opening match to Jeremy Ullmann/Florian Gosselin of France. The game lasted 33 minutes and included a small ankle injury to one of the two Japanese players.

Teams from England and the Netherlands accounted for the first tiebreak of the day. The English brothers Javier Bello/Joaquin Bello, who played in Montpellier last year already, eventually lost to Dirk Boehlé and Stefan Boermans.

Another two French teams competed on Wednesday. The pair composed by Romain Di Giantommaso, quadruple champion of France, and the experienced Adrian Caravano had to fight against Florian Schnetzer/Laurenz Leitner of Austria. After taking the first set, the home side eventually lost 1-2 to the highly motivated Austrians.

Quincy Ayé/Arnaud Gauthier-Rat (pictured above) stormed to a landslide 21-7, 21-8 victory in their opening match with Sadegh Mohajer/Ruben Olai Lund Løvli of Norway. “We stayed focussed until the end of the game and this victory is a good to start the tournament,” Ayé said. “We have the feeling that this will be a good tournament for us,” added partner Gauthier-Rat.

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