FIVB Montpellier One Star
- Montpellier, France
- Aug. 28-Sept. 1, 2018
International qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics began on Tuesday as the qualifying round of the Montpellier One Star kicked off in France. The event, the second of the 2018-19 FIVB season, marks the first that counts toward the minimum of 12 events teams must participate in to be eligible for the Olympics.
Qualifying events including FIVB Beach Olympic Qualification tournament, the 2019 World Champions, World Tour events and recognized Continental Tour Finals slated for between Sept. 1, 2018 and June 14, 2020.
The Montpellier Open is set to include 25 men’s teams, five from host country France and three each from England and Switzerland, while the women’s field of 22 features four teams each from France and Switzerland.
Action began on Tuesday with teams from seven countries advancing through qualifying to round up the top 16 for both genders.
The four women’s qualifiers were:
- Esmee Bobner/Zoe Verge-Depre (Switzerland)
- Felicia Granberg/Johanna Wikberg (Sweden)
- Audrey Nourse/Nicole Nourse (USA)
- Kim Huber/Tatjana Greber (Switzerland)
Bobner/Verge Depre had to win just one match to move on after receiving a first round bye, defeating Czech pair Lucie Cencoa/Miroslava Liskova 21-13, 21-11. Granberg/Wikberg and Huber/Greber also received first round byes and advanced in straight sets.
Americans Nourse/Nourse won their first match in tiebreak, besting Finland’s Aliisa Vuorinen/Valma Prihti (21-17, 9-21, 16-14), before stamping their ticket to the main draw with a 21-7, 21-14 win over Russians Ekaterina Filina/Ekaterina Lubenets.
Fellow Americans Allison Spurrier/Melissa Fuchs were knocked out in the first round by Canada’s Rian Lenarduzzi/Anna Dunn-Suen (23-21, 23-21).
On the men’s side, teams from the Czech Republic, England, France and South Africa made it through to the main draw.
- Martin Sramek/Dominik Samec (Czech Republic)
- Mark Garcia-Kidd/Freddie Bialokoz (England)
- Jamaine Naidoo/Leo Williams (South Africa)
- Arnaud Loiseau/Adrian Caravano (France)
Garcia-Kidd/Bialokoz took the long road to the main draw, winning both of their qualifying matches in tiebreak, topping Romania’s Bogdan Necula/Farcas Tudorel (15-21, 23-21, 15-10) and Swiss pair Immanuel Zurcher/Jonathan Jordan (12-21, 21-19, 15-13).
Sramek/Samec won in straight sets in Round 1 before going the distance against Hungary’s Balazs Benko/Botond Olah (23-25, 21-14, 15-13).
Naidoo/Williams won both of their matches in straight sets, while Loiseau/Caravano defeated Norway’s Erlend Henriksveen/Vegard Lokken 21-15, 21-16 after a first round bye.
Maxime Thiercy/Arnaud Gauthier-Rat are the top seed on the men’s side, followed by fellow Frenchmen Youssef Krou/Quincy Aye and last week’s Siofok One Star winners Romain Di Giantommaso/Jeremy Silvestre.
France’s Alexandra Jupiter/Lezana Placette are the top seeded women’s team, followed by Swiss duos Laura Caluori/Dunja Gerson, Nicole Eiholzer/Elena Steinemann and Esmee Bobner/Zoe Verge-Depre.
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