Edmonton, Canada, July 17, 2019 - Two-time FIVB World Tour most outstanding player Harley Marques was back competing on the international circuit here Wednesday as the 45-year old Brazilian teamed with Luciano Ferreira to win a pair of qualifying matches at the $150,000 Edmonton Open.
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The 12th-seeded Harley and Luciano defeated teams from England and Japan to advance to Thursday's main draw rounds in the FIVB World Tour event.
Playing in their first FIVB event together, Harley and Luciano opened play Wednesday with a 2-0 (21-13, 21-7) win in 30 minutes over 21st-seeded Sam Dunbavin/Sam Walrond of England before concluding action by eliminating fifth-seeded Yusuke "Gottsu" Ishijima/Katsuhiro Shiratori of Japan 2-0 (21-18, 21-16) in 35 minutes.
"It is great to be playing in Edmonton,” said Harley, who was the international circuit's top player in 2008 and 2009. "We are playing together for the first-time at an FIVB event, but we got a good start to our trip to Canada by winning an Canadian domestic event last weekend in Vancouver."
Seven other teams, including 13th-seeded Canadians William Hoey/Jake MacNeil, also gained spots in the men's Edmonton Open main draw where two rounds of pool play matches will be played Thursday to set the field for Friday's single-elimination rounds.
Hoey and MacNeil started play Wednesday with a 2-0 (21-17, 21-19) win in 39 minutes over compatriots and 20th-seeded Donovan/Fiodar Kazhamiaka before ousting fourth-seeded Milosz Kruk/Jakub Szalankiewicz of Poland 2-0 (21-12, 21-17) in 33 minutes.
Canadians Jake MacNeil (left) and William Hoey talk during time out
Other teams advancing from the men's qualifier were top-seeded Miles Evans/Billy Kolinske of the United States, second-seeded Mihails Samoilovs/Aleksandrs Solovejs of Latvia, third-seeded Lukas Kazdailis/Arnas Rumsevicius of Lithuania, seventh-seeded Mikolaj Miszczuk/Maciej Rudol of Poland, ninth-seeded Felix Friedl/Maximilian Trummer of Austria and 11th-seeded Lukas Pfretzschner/Robin Sowa of Germany.
The women's qualifier was also played Wednesday where eight teams from six countries also advanced to Thursday's Main Draw. The inaugural Edmonton Open concludes Sunday with the winning pairs splitting the $10,000 first-place prizes and receiving 600 Olympic qualifying points.