2017-08-04 18:05:00 CET

Cherif hints at Qatar anxiety

The World Championship specialists missed out on a place in the last eight

Cherif Younousse admitted there was a sense of anxiety for he and Jefferson Santos Pereira to hit the finish line after being eliminated from the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships presented by A1.

The Qataris were knocked out by home favorites Clemens Doppler and Alex Horst in the last16 in Vienna, losing in straight sets on the Red Bull Beach Arena.

Temperatures approaching 40 degrees Celsius and a 10,000-strong support base for their opposition understandably provided a tough task, particularly after falling behind.

But with the two not at their clinical best, they were powerless to stop the Austrian heroes waltzing their way further into the competition.

“We had a good start, the crowd helped a lot, but by the end we were so anxious to finish the game – the Austrian guys were more relaxed than us and that was important,” said Cherif.

“All the games we’ve played in Red Bull Beach Arena have been good so I don’t think it was nerves, we are used to playing in there. Maybe it just wasn’t our day.

“Our defense was not working as well as we’d liked, from both of us. I only had two blocks and I’m used to at least four, maybe it just wasn’t the day.

“We missed the finishing, we were really keen to end the game.”

The World Championships have constantly been kind to the 23rd seeds, finishing ninth in Vienna after hitting fifth just two years ago in the Netherlands.

It was therefore disappointing that they didn’t quite hit their best on the Red Bull Beach Arena, missing out 26-24, 24-22 having led in the first mind.

But having once again captured Viennese hearts and minds, this is a Qatari pair that will be back for more.

Cherif continued: “We finished fifth in the last World Championships, that was a huge thing for us and now when we come here to Austria, people are starting to know us and what we are about.

“We could have done better, we enjoy playing in this tournament.

“Doing our best would be reaching the semi-finals, that is our goal and we would love one day to get there, but we are happy with the work we have done so far.

“Maybe we had the problem finishing, but we have not lost anything, we will be able to go away and work on things and we can go again.”

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