Spain’s Herrera-Gavira win Xiamen Open beach volleyball title

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Xiamen (China), April 16 (IANS) Spain’s seventh seeds Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira scored two come-from-behind victories in the men’s semi-finals and final on Saturday to win the title at the $150,000 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Xiamen Open.

Herrera-Gavira overcame a sluggish start to rally past the United States fifth seeds John Hyden and Tri Bourne 2-1 (14-21, 21-19, 15-12) for their second World Tour gold medal together, reports Xinhua.

Going down tamely in the first set during which the Americans dominated on back of high quality serving of Bourne, the Spaniards fought back strongly in the second, jumping to a 7-3 lead and held it to 20-17. Hyden scored one point and Bourne added an ace to pull within 20-19, only to find Gavira level one set back for his team with a smash.

In the tiebreaker, Herrera-Gavira managed to build up a 7-4 lead again and went on to improve to 14-10. Hyden-Bourne beat off two match points to force the Spaniards to call a time-out. After the game resumed, Herrera made a storming kill to wrap up the match in 46 minutes.

On Saturday morning, Herrera-Gavira also needed to come from one set down to beat fourth seeds Konstantin Semenov and Viacheslav Krasilnikov of Russia 2-1 (19-21, 21-16, 15-10) in the first semi-final.

With the well earned triumph in the Xiamen Open, Herrera-Gavira also split the top prize of $11,000 and 500 points and moved one step closer to the qualification of the Rio Games.

“We are almost there. We are on our way,” Herrera said.

Earlier on Saturday, Mexico’s ninth seeds Lombardo Ontiveros and Juan Virgen beat fourth seeds Konstantin Semenov and Viacheslav Krasilnikov of Russia in straight sets 21-15, 24-22 to take home the bronze medal.

The Xiamen Open concludes on Sunday with the women’s medal round matches and the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour will continue next week in Fuzhou.

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