Younousse and Tijan storm into Olympic semifinals

Tokyo: Qatar’s Cherif Younousse and Ahmed Tijan progressed to the semifinals of the Tokyo 2020 men’s Olympic beach volleyball tournament after a straight-set victory over Italy’s Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo in the quarterfinals held at Shiokaze Park on Wednesday.

Nicolai and Lupo could not hold on to the three-point lead they opened early into their match with Cherif and Ahmed. After 8-8, the Qatari team took control of the scoreboard and never let go through the end of the first set.

The second set was far more competitive, and the Italians even pushed it to overtime. They denied two Qatari match points, but on the third one Cherif killed to stop the clocks at 2-0 (21-17, 23-21).

“I’m grateful to be in the semifinal, because it took us maybe six or seven years to build this team. It’s a long process. But we trust the process. For sure, the road is going to be very difficult; there will be some ups and downs. But we didn’t give up and we’re thankful to be here,” said Cherif.

“It was a very tough game mentally. They were playing really well and not giving up. Now we’ll get a good rest, because tomorrow we are going to be here again.” He added.

In the semifinals to be staged on Thursday, the Qatari duo will take on the reigning world champions Viacheslav Krasilnikov and Oleg Stoyanovskiy of the Russian Olympic Committee who booked their semifinals spot after beating Germany’s Julius Thole and Clemens Wickler 2-0 (21-16, 21-19) on Wednesday.

Source: Qatar Olympic Committee