Doha, Qatar, January 15, 2019 - For the fifth time since November 2014, Qatar will host an international tournament for men as the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour returns to Doha with European teams seeking to continue their gold medal dominance.
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Pairs from Germany, Italy and the Netherlands have topped the previous four Doha podiums led by Dutchmen and 2018 Qatar gold medal winners Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen, the bronze medal finishers at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and the 2013 FIVB world champions.
After Germans Tim Holler/Jonas Schroder won the inaugural Doha event in November 2014, the Rio 2016 Olympic pairs of Markus Bockermann/Lars Fluggen of Germany (November 2015) and Adrian Carambula/Alex Ranghieri of Italy (April 2016) captured the next two Qatar titles.
Fluggen (Nils Ehlers), Carambula (Enrico Rossi) and Ranghieri (Marco Caminati) are expected to compete in the 2019 Doha Open set for March 6-12. A total of 34 Olympians have entered this year's event at the Katara Cultural Village, including three teams from the Rio 2016 Summer Games - Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins of Latvia, Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak of Poland and Adrian Gavira/Pablo Herrera of Spain.
Brazilian Olympic gold medal winners Alison Cerutti (Andre Loyola), Ricardo Santos (Alvaro Filho) and Bruno Oscar Schmidt (Pedro Solberg) are also scheduled to compete in the 2019 Doha Open. Alison and Bruno captured the 2016 Rio Olympic gold medal while Ricardo topped the Athens 2004 Olympic podium with Emanuel Rego.
Qatar's Cherif Samba/Ahmed Tijan, currently ninth on the FIVB World Tour ranking list, posted the host country's best finish in the Doha Opens with a 2018 third after defeated American Olympians Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena in the bronze medal match. Samba placed ninth in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with Jefferson Santos Pereira.