Younousse and Tijan get off to a flying start in Tokyo, win first match of group stage
Qatar’s Cherif Younousse and Ahmed Tijan’s campaign in the beach volleyball event of the Tokyo Games got off to a flying start with a 2-0 (21-17, 21-16) victory over Switzerland’s Adrian Heidrich and Mirco Gerson in their Pool C match at the Shiokaze Park yesterday.
The third-seeded Qatari pair had a tough start as the Swiss opponents kept them on their toes and stopped them from taking a big lead initially. However, with the help of Tijan’s well-placed serves, the pair took a two-point lead at 9-7, and after that, they were in their element and controlled the game to win the first set at 21-17.
Heidrich and Gerson came strongly in the second set. Still, after early hiccups, Younousse and Tijan, who went into the Tokyo Games on the back of a runner-up finish in the FIVB four-star tournament in Gstaad two weeks ago, put up a strong show. Younousse’s solid play at the net and Tijan’s excellent returns proved pivotal as they won the set and match at 21-16.
The Asian Games champions, Younousse and Tijan, will on Wednesday be up against Italy’s Adrian Carambula and Enrico Rossi, who were defeated 2-0 (21-18, 21-19) by USA’s Jake Gibb and Tri Bourne in yesterday’s other encounter, in their next match of the preliminary phase.
Meanwhile, Qatar’s Judo player, Ayoub Elidrissi, did not survive the elimination round of 32 of the men’s 66kg event as Belorussia’s Dzmitry Minkou defeated him.
Al-Elidrissi participation in the Olympics is really a positive turning point in his career which will help him improve his international experience.
In the other events, Qatar rower Tala Abujubara claimed first place in E/F 1 semi-final race yesterday to qualify for the final F of the women’s singles scull rowing event to be held on Friday.
Though out of medal contention, Tala hopes to finish as high as possible in the final classification. In yesterday’s race, Tala clocked a time of 8:24:24 minutes to finish ahead of Uganda’s Kathleen Noble, Nigeria’s Esther Toko and Sudan’s Esraa Khogali.
Qatar’s women sprinter Bashayer al-Manwari said she was hoping to register her personal best at the Tokyo Games. “I’m really determined to break my personal record. I’m very proud to be part of the Olympics as I have been dreaming of participating in Olympics for long years ago, now my dream has turned into reality. I’m the only Qatari female athlete to participate in the athletics competitions,” she said yesterday. “Yes, it is a beautiful and challenging task, but I’m ready to take the responsibility.”
In the other news, Qatar’s weightlifting star, Fares Ibrahim Hassouna and swimmer Abdulaziz al-Obaidly arrived in Tokyo on Saturday.
Al-Obaidly will be in action in the 200m breaststroke on Wednesday, while Hassouna’s will compete in the 96kg Weightlifting on July 31.
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