FIVB Tokyo Three Star
- Tokyo, Japan
- July 25-29, 2018
The podium matches are set for the men’s Tokyo Three Star after quarterfinal and semifinal matches, while the first of the women’s semifinalists was decided.
Chile’s Marco Grimalt/Esteban Grimalt will face Serbia’s Lazar Kolaric/Stefan Basta for the gold medal at 2:30 a.m. ET Sunday. Germans Philipp Arne Bergmann/Yannick Harms will take on Americans Casey Patterson/Stafford Slick for the bronze at midnight Saturday.
The Grimalts defeated Ahmed Tijan/Cherif Younousse in tiebreak in the quarterfinals (16-21, 21-18, 15-10) and bested Patterson/Slick in the semis (23-21, 21-15) to earn the title shot. They will be looking for their first FIVB World Tour podium finish and have already achieved their best placing of the season ahead of a ninth-place effort the Espinho Four Star on July 8.
Kolaric/Basta held on for a tiebreak win over Germans Max Betzien/Jonathan Erdmann (21-15, 19-21, 15-12) and followed with a sweep of Bergmann/Harms (21-18, 21-14) to reach the finals. The Serbians are looking for their third podium finish of the season, following gold at the Aydin One Star on May 20 and silver at the Lucerne Three Star on May 13.
In the quarterfinals, Patterson/Slick took out Austrians Robin Seidl/Philipp Waller (21-17, 21-12), while Bergmann/Harms outlasted China’s Gao Peng/Li Yang (21-16, 13-21, 15-9). Despite tonight’s result, the pair, which teamed up in January, has achieved its top FIVB placing of the year ahead of a fifth-place effort at the Lucerne Three-Star.
Bergmann/Harms are looking for their first podium finish since winning gold at the Oman One Star on March 17 and just their second as a pairing.
On the women’s side, Finland’s Tau Lahti-Liukkonen/Anniina Parkkinen earned the first spot in the semifinals with wins over Japan’s Chiyo Suzuki/Reika Murakami and Yui Nagata/Minori Kumada in Round 2 and the quarterfinals respectively. The pair edged past Suzuki/Murakami 16-21, 21-11, 15-11 before sweeping Yui Nagata/Kumada 21-18, 21-11.
The remaining three quarterfinal matches are set to begin at 7:30 ET Saturday:
- Riikka Lehtonen/Niina Ahtiainen (Finland) vs. Megumi Murakami/Miki Ishii (Japan)
- Lauren Fendrick/Sarah Sponcil (USA) vs. Teresa Mersmann/Cinja Tillmann (Germany)
- Megan McNamara/Nicole McNamara (Canada) vs. Ingrid Lunde/Oda Johanne Ulveseth (Norway)
The McNamara twins went the distance with Spain’s Angela Lobato/Amaranta Navarro (21-19, 19-21, 15-9), while the other six Round 2 matches were over in straight sets.
Fendrick/Sponcil took out countrywomen Betsi Flint/Emily Day 23-21, 21-13 in Round 2. The victory marked the pair’s second straight against fellow Americans after McKenna Thibodeau/Madison Witt bowed out due to injury in the first knockout round.
The women’s semifinals are set for 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET Saturday. The bronze medal match will be played at 1:15 a.m. ET Sunday followed by the gold at 3:45 a.m. ET.