Top-seeded Bahman Salemi and Arash Vakili topped an all-Iranian podium at the men-only Bandar Torkaman one-star stop on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour on Friday.
This is the first ever gold medal on the Tour for them. While for Vakili it is also the first medal of any kind, Salemi previously won one silver and one bronze together with Rahman Raoufi, who was on the other side of the net in Friday’s final on the Caspian Sea coast, fivb.org reported.
Rahman Raoufi and Abolhamed Mirzaali, seeded second at Bandar Torkaman, finished second in the final standings. This is their second silver on the World Tour as a pair, also boasting one bronze finish to their name.
The bronze went to third-seeded Abbas Pourasgari and Aghamohammad Salagh. For either of these experienced players this is the first podium finish at a World Tour event.
At a stadium packed with spectators, Salemi and Vakili were well in control of the scoreboard throughout the first set and the first half of the second.
Raoufi and Mirzaali did not give up and caught up at 13-13. They even took the lead at 17-16 and extended it to 19-17 before reaching set point at 20-19, but in the overtime a couple of great digs by Vakili, which he followed up with successful spikes, put an end to it all at 2-0 (21-11, 22-20).
In the bronze medal match, Pourasgari and Salagh dominated over fifth-seeded Kazakhstanis Alexey Kuleshov and Artem Petrossyants. Cheered on by the numerous home crowd, the Iranians cruised to a 2-0 (21-16, 21-11) victory.