By Sports Reporter
Qatar’s Cherif Younousse and Ahmed Tijan kick-started their Tokyo Olympics beach volleyball campaign on a winning note on Sunday. At the Shiokaze Park, the third seeded Qatari pair defeated Switzerland’s Adrian Heidrich and Mirco Gerson 21-17, 21-16 in their opening Pool C match.
The Asian Games champions Cherif and Tijan, who came into the Tokyo Games on the back of a runner-up finish in the FIVB four-star tournament in Gstaad two weeks ago, combined well to clear the first hurdle. It was a tough start for the Qatari duo as the Swiss pair kept them on their toes and stopped them from taking a big lead initially. With the help of Tijan’s well-placed serves the Qatar pair took a two-point lead at 9-7 and after that they were in their elements and controlled the game to win the first set at 21-17.
Heidrich and Gerson came strongly in the second set, but after early hiccups, Younousse and Tijan put up a strong show. Younousse’s solid play at the net and Ahmed’s fine returns proved pivotal and they won the set and match at 21-16.
In their next match on Wednesday, Younousse and Tijan will take on Italy’s Adrian Carambula and Enrico Rossi who suffered a 2-0 (21-18, 21-19) defeat at the hands of USA’s Jake Gibb and Tri Bourne yesterday.
Meanwhile, Qatar rower Tala Abujubara claimed the first place in E/F 1 semi-final race yesterday to qualify to final F of women’s singles scull rowing event to be held on Thursday. Out of medal contention, Tala is hoping 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 Judo player, Ayoub Elidrissi suffered a defeat at the hands of Belorussia’s Dzmitry Minkou in the men’s 66kg event. Al-Elidrissi participation in the Olympics is really a positive turning point in his career which will help him improve his international experience.
Meanwhile, 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 to participate in Olympics since long years ago, now my dream turned into reality and 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.”
On the other hand, 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 tomorrow, while Hassouna’s will compete in the 96kg Weightlifting on July 31.
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