- Aydin, Turkey
- May 17-20, 2018
Serbia’s Stefan Basta/Lazar Kolaric, which started the tournament in the qualifying rounds, won their first FIVB World Tour gold medal, besting Iran’s Rahman Raoufi/Abolhamed Mirzaali in the championship match Sunday morning.
Basta/Kolaric, earn their second straight podium finish, following a runner-up effort at the Lucerne Three-Star last week. Meanwhile, the Iranians picked up their second FIVB medal as a duo, following a bronze at the Satun One Star on April 11.
Rounding out the men’s podium were Ruslan Bykanov/Maksim Hudyakov of Russia, which denied homestanding Hasan Mermer/Safa Urlu the honor of the bronze with 23-21, 21-14 win.
On the women’s side, a lot was still be to be decided as the day began with both semifinal and podium matches on slate for Sunday, but one thing was for certain, a Swedish team would be going home with a medal for the first time in the country’s history on either the men’s or women’s side.
Top seeded Ksenia Dabizha/Daria Mastikova (Russia), No. 2 Leila Ortega/Maylen Tamayo (Cuba), No. 10 Kristina Thurin/Susanna Thurin (Sweden) and qualifiers Tadva Yoken/Sigrid Simonsson (Sweden) made up the semifinal field.
Dabizha/Mastikova bested the Thurin twins and Leila/Maylen downed Yoken/Simonsson in straight sets in the semis, relegating the Swedish sides to compete for a still historic bronze.
In the end, the Thurins outlasted their countrywomen in tiebreak (18-21, 26-24, 15-11) for the medal.
In the championship match, it was Cuba’s Leila/Maylen that secured the top spot with a 21-18, 21-16 win. This is just the second FIVB event for the Cubans, following a ninth-place effort at the Bangkok Open last week.
Meanwhile, Dabizha/Mastikova earned their third medal of the season following gold at the Langkawi One Star (April 29) and bronze at the Phnom Penh Two-Star (May 6).