2017-02-20 16:11:00 CEST

#FTLMajor stars hit form in Iran

Kish Island medalists benefit from Fort Lauderdale warm-up

Nikita Liamin (right) in action during the Fort Lauderdale Major. Photocredit: Dave McMahan.Nikita Liamin (right) in action during the Fort Lauderdale Major. Photocredit: Dave McMahan.

Straight off the back of the Fort Lauderdale Major, the beach volleyball elite were back in action last week as the World Tour’s second event of the new season took place on Kish Island in Iran.

The three-star, men-only tournament was the first of its kind that featured no qualification or pool play matches as the play went straight into knockout mode.

All 64 entered players went toe-to-toe in the round of 32 on Thursday and it was clear that the top-seeded stars that appeared at the Fort Lauderdale Major were in red hot form.

And so it proved, as the two teams that reached the final were in action in Florida in the week before. In the end, new Russian partnership Liamin/Krasilnikov (seeded second) fought back from one set down to win 2-1 against Polish first seeds Kantor/Losiak and claim one of the biggest and heaviest-looking trophies on the circuit!

Большое спасибо всей нашей команде🏐первая и очень важная медаль для нашей новой пары💪@slavik113 отдельное спасибо близким и родным❤#fivb #kishopen #beachvolleyball

148 Likes, 20 Comments - Nikita Liamin (@liamin_14th) on Instagram: "Большое спасибо всей нашей команде🏐первая и очень важная медаль для нашей новой пары💪@slavik113..."

Both finalists in Iran crashed out of the Fort Lauderdale Major at the round of 16 stage, with Kantor/Losiak losing to Olympic gold medalists Alison/Bruno and Liamin/Krasilnikov ousted by #FTLMajor’s eventual fourth-placed finishers Hyden/Bourne.

“The gold medal is very important for us, not only because it is a new season but also because we are a newly-formed team,” Liamin told the FIVB website. “It was really great to play in the final on a sunny day, even though the wind conditions have been quite difficult today. This victory makes us really confident for the rest of the season.”

Russia filled two spots on the podium as Stoyanovskiy/Yarzutkin claimed the bronze medal after their defeat of Germans Schümann/Thole.

We have to wait two weeks until the next tournament on the World Tour when the players head Down Under to play in a one-star competition in Shepparton, Australia.

Click here to view the full season’s schedule.

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