France’s Quincy Aye and Arnaud Gauthier-Rat were one of eight teams who reached the main draw as action began today at the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) Beach World Tour event in Doha.
The duo beat Japan’s Nobuaki Taira and Ryota Sato 21-14, 21-12 on day one of the four-star Katara Open at the Qatari capital’s Katara Cultural Village.
Aye and Gauthier-Rat last featured on the FIVB Beach World Tour in Mexican city Chetumal in November, when they finished ninth.
Since then they have been away from their Toulouse base for warm weather training which allowed them to start their first tournament of 2020 in fine form.
"It was a good two zero, but we had to be careful of them because they both have really good technique and can play well," Aye said.
"We had to play our game and stay focused, and that is what we did."
WAIT FOR IT...— Beach Volleyball World (@FIVBBeach) March 9, 2020
🇪🇸 & 🇨🇦 MEAN BUSINESS even at training. Both teams are ready for tomorrow at the #FIVBWorldTour 4⭐️ event in Doha 🇶🇦.
Watch the matches on YouTube: https://t.co/aJal5EhUI7
Full info: https://t.co/FoDgIbImsd#FIVBBeachVolleyball #BeachVolleyball #Tokyo2020 pic.twitter.com/2KH3AJforj
Mexico's Lombardo Ontiveros and Juan Virgen will be among the teams joining Aye and Gauthier-Rat in the main draw after they defeated Gambia’s Sainey Jawo and Mbye Babou Jarra 21-10, 21-18.
In 2016, the pair reached the knockout rounds at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and they will be aiming to use their performance in Doha as a springboard to Tokyo 2020.
"It was a good win, it’s always a good win when you get into the main draw," Ontiveros said.
"The wind made it tough and the Gambia guys tried to squeeze us in the second set."
The men-only tournament is due to run through to Friday (March 13).
It is the second of nine four-star events on the 2019-2020 calendar and the winners will leave with 800 ranking points.